To call the road between Cantwell and Paxson Alaska a highway - is a stretch. I met Barbara and Kathleen and their broke down Toyota in the middle of the Denali Highway. So while my husband fixed the tire (hey he wanted to) we did what strangers do - we stood around exchanging stories. Both women have interesting life histories. Barbara, originally from Philly, a veteran dog musher and Iditarod competitor, with a side gig as a lawyer and Judge, has spent many years in the Alaska wilderness.
When I was in my early twenties exploring Mexico and the Caribbean, people asked if I was afraid to travel alone? Rarely ever alone I was only scared once. Traveling in the wilderness is a little like that - there are very few spaces with absolutely no evidence of human activity. Even in places where the only access is by plane or boat, pre-colonial occupation exists.
The recent addition of the sonic boom to the soundscape is a notch up from the rare crack of a distant gun shot. A cairn, empty bullet casings, flint naps, an archeological observation site, a blaze on a tree, crumbling cabin foundation, rusty can or a GU wrapper, are the more typical time displaced remnants of human passage.