A Journal Entry from Dick Proenneke, Written 52 Years Ago Today

Dick Proenneke’s cabin, June 1968. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

Editor’s note: Monroe Robinson and I have been working through edits and securing a few final photos for his book about Dick Proenneke. This week Elin Price sent us her first batch of illustrations, and we were elated. Between Dick’s journal entries and photography; Monroe’s insights, writing and photography; and Elin’s illustrations, this is going to be a beautiful, beautiful book. Following is a journal entry from Dick, dated June 30, 1968.

— Kara Gebhart Uhl

Photo developed September 1968. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

June 30, 1968: 

Last evening after supper I decided I would paddle down to the connecting stream and try for a couple trout.

A third of the way down a breeze met me and as time went by it got stronger. Opposite low pass creek it was a battle to keep headway so I headed for the right shore. I finally made Emerson creek… I found several uprooted trees that would make hinges but it would take some carving. Following the beach to the lower end I saw a few in the drift on the beach. I may get some and see what I can do. Steel hinges are better no doubt but it is interesting to see what one can do using only material from the forest.

I had no watch but it must have been midnight when I left the beach. It was a beautiful clear night and a good breeze to help me along. It was one thirty when I got the trout cleaned and already the northeastern sky was getting lighter… Not long till sun up so I sawed a few blocks of wood… Filed a couple handsaws.

Took a walk up the beach towards the base of Crag mountain. Finally Gold mountain caught the first rays of the sun and I turned in for a few hours.

— Dick Proenneke

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10 Responses to A Journal Entry from Dick Proenneke, Written 52 Years Ago Today

  1. Paul Z says:

    Looking forward to this book. I have the videos and a couple of the books too. When I am feeling tired of the news of this world, I’ll spend some time savoring the video and watching Mr. Proenneke working on the cabin and living in Alaska. Very calming. Thanks Lost Art, can’t wait!

  2. Woo hoo!

  3. Ed M says:

    Thanks for the update! I’m really looking forward to the book I’m currently reading “A Life in Full-Stride, the Journals of Richard L. Proenneke 1981-1985” while escaping the covid craziness in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

    Two quick things about the photo & caption: There is a typo- ‘pools’ should be ‘poles’, and in the photo, RLP is not installing the roof poles, but short pieces that fit between the roof poles where they cross the cabin walls. These are called “squirrel frustraters” because they prevent squirrels from entering the cabin at the eaves. 🙂

  4. nrhiller says:

    I’m so thrilled that you are publishing this book. It will make the perfect gift for Mark, a longtime Proenneke fan.

  5. Well this book is a must.

  6. jeff simpson says:

    The journaled adventure took place the day I was born!

  7. Peter Marshall says:

    What is the anticipated publish date ? Thx

  8. Dakota Burgener says:

    I can’t wait to order this book. When the world is a safer place I’m taking a trip up there to see the cabin.

  9. Ron Stephen says:

    When my wife and I were first married we came upon a used copy of Vera and Bradford Angier’s book, At Home in the Woods. (Published in 1951, three years before I was born). The book planted the seeds that grew, far too slowly, into a vague and unfocused dissatisfaction with what we now know as consumerism and the rat race. I look forward to reading this, perhaps it is not too late to recapture some of that desire for simplicity and meaning.

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