Monday, September 21, 2009

Thursday September 24

Before Thursday's meeting in the lecture hall, you should re-read the short selection from the Appleton's travel guide we discussed on the boat, as well as the selection in the reading packet from Sherry Simpson's The Accidental Explorer. After finishing these reading assignments, you should post one reading question about either text in the comments selection below. Think of your question as a means to start a conversation. That is, ask a question that would require some thought to answer. Be sure, also, to include your name in your post; it's helpful, finally, if you can put your section number next to your name.

See you Thursday,


  1. What is an adventure and how does one find it? Couldn't adventure just as easily be found in ones own backyard even if said yard is say suburbia?

    Sarah Ryan J03

  2. According to appleton’s guide book to Alaska a man “was a prisoner for six hours” in Fords Terror, now knowing from experience he could of only been stuck for up to two hours. Kayakers go to Fords Terror to get stuck and ride the natural little ebb-tides. So my question is how do we know that the people gathered the information in this guide book is telling the truth?
    - Marc Lapeyri J02

  3. How many places are commonly known by their first name?

    Edith Grover J04

  4. What is Sherry Simpson's definition of an "adventure" anyway? She seems to say it's hard to find one, and if you've found it, you usually don't know that you have. And why does she long for one so much?

    Emily Cummins J02

  5. What is the significance of climbing the mountain thirty one days? Why not thirty or even thirty-two? Why do her decisions to turn around upset her so much now, when they were her decisions to make?

    Chelsea Green

  6. How did the Inuit people use their 'memory maps' if they didn't document them? Did they pass them down from generation to generation by telling stories that depicted the lay of the land or did each Inuit have an individual experience that allowed them to make their own 'memory map'?

    Leah Gregg J03

  7. Alaska, being a rugged landscape, probably has fairly accurate maps created. Is it possible that there are many places in Alaska, even in this age of satellites and GPS, that are not accurately depicted in maps? I hope so!

    Deema Ferguson

  8. On page 218, it says that the mountain "Sleeping Lady" is the most prominant Anchorage feature identified with a Dena'ina story, yet when asked, the elders knew nothing of it. Does this mean that this story was potentially made up with no historical connection to the Dena'ina at all?

    Chelsey Welch J02

  9. How would you explore one woman's effort to map both a sense of place and a sense of self in a world at once comforting and unforgiving? How can we get adventure out of that in Alaska?

    Kelly Fernandez, JO4

  10. What does it really mean to be an explorer? Is it really about discovering something new?

    Amanda Banh J02

  11. Do you think she learned more about wilderness over her travels, or more about life?

    Richard Ringle J02

  12. How do we know places in Alaska are unexplored by humans? Sherry Simpson states that 711 people went missing in the wilderness as of August 2006. (pg 193). I imagined that they wandered off the path and into the unknown… possibly unexplored areas. Now I wonder how many people trekked across Alaska and didn’t survive the journey to report what they discovered.

    Danielle Orbistondo, J01

  13. Why do people need to ask such stupid questions about Alaska? "Do bears lay eggs?" Why is the rest of the country so oblivious to how things are here? It isn't like there aren't similar animals and landscapes and whatnot in SOME other places, and even if there isn't, shouldn't we know about the rarities in life too? Why are people so uneducated about this place?

    -April Henderson, J04

  14. Are maps even that accurate? If our surroundings are changing every day, how can we keep up?

    -Alyanna Igliane J04

  15. Why is Alaska thought of as such a rugged place? In the beginning of The Accidental Explorer he says that he "never became the sort of Alaskan who flies planes ... treks in the backcountry as if it were no more troublesome than driving to the local 7 Eleven for a newspaper." Although I would say that Alaska is a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts, is this statement true? I've never flown an airplane. Going back to the response we wrote on the ride to Tracy Arm, I think this is why people come to Alaska. People read in books that it is a place that is unparalleled with raw beauty and raw people.

    Callie Dietrich, J03

  16. The author states that sometimes he is unable to find his location even with a gps. Aren't there many gps systems that are guarenteed to work anywhere in the world?
    michael caruso

  17. In the introduction to the The Accidental Explorer Sherry Simpson explains that, “ The older I get, the harder it becomes to see the wilderness I want to return to, the home I need to belong to.” Age seems to play an important role in this statement. Is it much easier for the younger generation to “see the wilderness” and want to return?

    Freddie Munoz, JO1

  18. Do you think that since technology allows us to view pictures of all parts of the world, and resorts give us the priviledge to visit somewhere without having to explore or experience the lives that people residing in these diverse places live, that it makes our generation appreciate new and unseen locations less?

    Hannah Massey

  19. Why do you think Sherry has such liking for the eldest, most inacurate depictions of Alaska? It seems to bring out a nostalgic feeling in her, but does that not defeat the purpose of looking at a map in the first place? If one wanted to feel lost in the wilderness, why look to an object that reveals where you are in the first place?

    Stephen Bishop J03

  20. When I think of crains, I think of Ireland (I realize how asinine this is); but are there any crains actually standing here in Alaska? I would think the weight of snow alone would eventually demolish them.

    Nicole Lopez J03

  21. Do you think she would agree that being raised in Alaska was the perfect thing for her? She has had experience in many different homes over the U.S. so do you think she is thankful that he family ended up coming up here?

    Janice Smith J04

  22. Sherry Simpson states:"the Inupiaq were mappers not map makers..." I was raised by my 85 year old Inupiaq grandfather, this statement is not true. Sure, the Inupiaq didn't make 'western' maps but we did make traditional maps out of seal skin.

    I was wondering where she got this information?

    LaTia Jackson, J03

  23. In the guidebook, Alaska Excursions were held on a 340 foot steamer. When we went on our 11 hour boat trip, we couldn't get to the glacier because there were so many pieces broked off to get through, steamers back in the day went so much slower, and carried so much more people, how did they approach the destination with such ease?

    Xuyen Nguyen JO4

  24. In "The Accidental Explorer" it talked about a man named Fred George who uses the landscape as a map to get to his winter fish camp. He uses a variety of different things that help him find the way to his destination. Was he taught these things by some one, or did he simply just study his surroundings a lot? How did people find out how to do these techniques?

    Westin Dollmont J01

  25. Do you think she'd have the same sense of adventure if she grew up living somewhere in the lower 48, say a flat Midwestern state or do you think she was naturally curious and corageous? Is Alaska's rugged appearance what fueled her love for adventure?

    Eric Mountcastle, JO2

  26. I was curious about when they say that 711 people went missing in Alaska in 2006. Do they know how many people have went missing to this day and if so who do you ask?

  27. I wonder since the author states that she and her family moved eleven times all over down south, and probably alot more as an adult, why did she chose alaska? and does she think it is the right choice?

  28. Johanna Christensen- J01

    The Accidental Explorer- Sherry Simpson

    In the introduction she says that she never became the "sort of Alaskan who flies planes, kills wild animals, fishes open seas, climbs mountains..."

    Do most lower state people think that is what the typical Alaskan person does?

    Because my friends and I don't usually go mountain climbing and fly planes.

  29. So, the question, "What is wilderness?" Had been the main topic I have encountered since I arrived in Juneau. I had never really considered this question until I got here, but now it has became a major topic in all of the classes that I am taking which is really interesting. What I want to know is not what wilderness is, or why people want to go venture into it. I am curious as to what is home, what are the guidelines for a home? Is home four walls and a roof, or is it anywhere your family is, or is it where you feel comfortable? Where does home start, and where does home end?

    I have another a question too. This search for adventure that a lot of people have, the search for excitement and something new, is this directly related to the search of something wild, could you maybe say that when people decide that they are looking for adventure it is maybe because they got a glimpse of something wild or sublime that sparked in them a need to search for more of it, which is exactly what an adventure could bring you, especially an Alaskan Adventure. This also relates to the question on the boat about why people come to Alaska in the first place.

    Sammy Becker

  30. Guide Book to Alaska/The Accidental Explorer-
    I wonder how much the names of locations (on maps) have changed over time?
    and how many of them actually have a history or meaning behind them.

  31. Sherry Simpson says that locating wilderness is trickier that just identifying a lawn... I mean how do you find wilderness? wouldn't it be just the beautiful scenery around that is outside? Does it have to be a place that is "unmarked" or not have even been explored (If this place still exists in todays world)?

    Chelsea Durham J03

  32. OBAB ch.2-I was wondering through this book so far it seems like to me all really keeps on talking about is money and how much one needs to try and get to do there project. If they really want to be a biologist like those of the 1900's why do they need so much money to do their projects?

    SNW-The nature of violence-If he did so much research on gryllacridids why doesn't he state why placing a gryllacridid in a fridge for 15min. calms them down? Why does placing a gryllacridid in a fridge calm them down? Does anybody know?

  33. I found it interesting that Sherry Simpson speaks about how when she was a child, she always desired Alaska. That she wished she had been born here.

    There is something about being "from" a place. However, I've met many Alaskans who wish that they were born somewhere else. Could it be true that humans simply want what they do not, or cannot, have?

    -Nathaniel Bodenstadt J04

  34. It is so interesting for me to read this, because I really don't know what is like all about this area. Kayaking for couple days sounds fun, but why would they do that? I can't imagine myself out there kayaking and what if like the weather changes and what happens?

    Anastasia Brink, J01

  35. Sherry Simpsons love of alaska's wilderness is shared by many people even now adays, I mean we are the "last frontier". People have always had a curiousity of exploring unknown places, its only natural. However someday alaska and its wilderness will lose some of the allure that it has once had and people will be looking for a new "last frontier" to explore. Where will that be? The deep ocean that is largely unexplored? Space?? Mans curiousity of the unknown is always expanding, and its interesting to wonder what that next frontier will be.

    -Steve Dyer J03

  36. the humanities program that earl creates shows that it changed peoples lives drastically in a positive way. do you think these poor people dont seek education because they are scared? or is it just because they are lazy?

    J01 chris day