Denali National Park, 2019

We have always wanted to see Alaska. We have made several attempts to travel to Alaska over the years but for one reason or another we had to postpone

At long last we were able to make it work. Alaska is over 2x the size of Texas but with only 700k people. It’s hard to get your head around the size of the state and getting around isn’t easy if you want explore various parts of the state. You can only access about 20% of the state by car so you need to see other areas by bush plane, boat or train

Our trip had three parts: three days in Denali National Park, three days in Kachemak Bay/Katmai Coast and then a week of southeast Alaska.

This post is about our time in Denali National Park. I’ll write up two more posts later this month about the rest of the trip.

Getting to Denali was quite a journey. We flew from Boston to Seattle then to Fairbanks. We spent the night in Fairbanks and took a five hour train to the park entrance. Cars aren’t allowed past the visitor center. To get to the lodge requires a four hour bus ride from the park entrance or a 1 hour bush plane. We took the bus in and plane out to get the full experience and I’m glad we did.

Lodging is limited in the park if you aren’t camping. We stayed at the North Face Lodge which is minimalistic. Each room has the essentials and nothing more. There is no wifi in the park or cellular connectivity anywhere. But the setting of the place, staff and food were truly fantastic. The days were magically long with 20 hours or more of full sunlight followed by a few short hours of dusk. We spent our days hiking and relaxing over a book after dinner. One of our most memorable days was getting away from a wandering grizzly bear.

Denali Park is absolutely stunning. I do not know how to adequately describe it properly and my photographs below do not fully capture the beauty of the place by any means. But one thing is for sure, Alaska has the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen in the United States.

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All photographs taken with a Hasselblad 503cw and Leica M3 and Kodak film. Other gear in my backpack here.

What’s in my bag, Alaska edition.

I just returned from a 2 week, off the grid trip to Alaska.

When my film comes back from the lab, I’ll share a post with photographs and thoughts of the trip itself. In the meantime, here’s my first attempt at a what’s in my bag post.

(sorry for the lack of photos of the gear itself. I’m feeling a little under the weather today and thought some text was better than nothing).

Backpack: Peak Design Everyday 30L. I was impressed with this bag. I took it everywhere and it worked well on some super long hikes. I should have brought a rain cover since the bag isn’t really waterproof. But I got lucky and avoided any real problems.

Headphones: Sony M3. They have a longer name but that’s what I call them. They are awesome. Super comfortable, great sound and they charge via usb c.

Cameras: Leica M3 and a Hasseleblad 503cw. I brought two lenses for the Leica, a 50mm Summicron and a 90mm Summicron. For the Hassy, I brought the 80mm/2.8 Zeiss Plannar.

Film: Kodak Portra 400 and Tr-X 400.

Laptop: None. Instead I brought an iPad Pro 11″ with keyboard. I love this thing.

Battery pack: Anker PowerCore.

Phone: iPhone XS.

Books: A heart full of peace by Joseph Goldstein. It was a gift from my wife and a perfect place to read this short but powerful book. I also read about half of Small Pleasures which is a collection of short essays on appreciating every day moments.

Music: I knew I was going to have little to no internet access so I downloaded a bunch of my playlists from Spotify in advance. I enjoyed the silence of Alaska more than blasting tunes. But when I listened to music, it was often M. Ward.

Notebook: Field Notes, to journal the trip and a few of these Zebra Sarasa pens.

Special mention: I didn’t plan on bringing our binoculars but Lauren did and this was such a great decision. If you go to Alaska, bring binoculars. Game changer.

Paris, 2019

Earlier this month I spent barely 48 hours in Paris for a series of work meetings.

I love that city and clearly this wasn’t enough time. The last time I made a trip to Paris was also business related. It always feels odd to be in that city without my wife. I hope to make a return trip soon — and next time I’m counting on making the trip together.


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(Cameras: Hasselblad 503cw, Leica M3. Film: Kodak Portra 400 and Tri-X 400. Lab: Richard Photo Lab)