Nick Jans encountered more bears than usual during his three week stay at home out the Haines Highway. And he wasn’t alone.
Nick Jans returns to Alaska for the first time since the pandemic began. He couldn’t travel to Ambler, but was able to visit home on the Haines Highway.
COVID kept Nick Jans away from Alaska for the longest absence he’s experienced in 40 years. Luckily, he writes, “Alaska is a state of mind.”
Nick Jans on living in Alaska, the stories that emerge from that lifestyle, and sharing with them with Alaska magazine readers.
Nick Jans recalls his own encounters with the stories and tragic deaths of Timothy Treadwell and Chris McCandless. Treadwell is pictured here with Aimee Hugenard at Upper Kaflia Lake, less than 100 yards from where they would die a year later. Photo by Willie Fulton, courtesy Nick Jans. Seems like just the other day rather than 1992 I sat in my cabin, shaking my head over the Sunday paper. Moose hunters had found a body in an abandoned bus along the Stampede Trail. The poor galoot, long on ambition but woefully underprepared, had set out to walk across Alaska and instead ended up way short, hunkered in and around that bus for several months as he slowly starved to death. Eleven years later, I stood alone on the crest of a brushy hill overlooking Kaflia Lake on the Katmai coast where a California surfer-type dude and his female companion had…
Nick Jans shares tales of caribou soup, moose nose, fermented walrus flipper, and other Eskimo foods he’s encountered through years of Inupiaq hospitality.
Reflections of a carnivore
Capturing the spirit in the sky
A SHIMMER OF LIGHT FLICKERS OVER THE KOBUK RIVER AND THE CURVE OF THE BORNITE HILLS. Then another. As I gaze eastward, yellow-white tongues of fire rise from the horizon, accelerate in pulsing curtains that blaze overhead, shred and vanish, then form again.
The hunt for the perfect photo.
IT’S 1981, a mid-August evening on the spine of the Kobuk-Noatak divide, 70 miles above the Arctic Circle. It’s hard, wind-scraped country: tundra valleys webbed with caribou trails, rolling away beneath a wide sky.
“WHICH WAY?” I shouted over the roar of the engine. Seth leaned forward, speed-reading the three-way split in the river that lay ahead. He gestured left.We both knew we had two chances to make that gooseneck turn into a six-foot-wide, three-inch-deep slot at 30 mph: slim and none.