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Reflections on Life

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Today is a sad day, full of reflection for most Americans. I remember vividly where I was on September 11, 2001. Sleeping in a hotel room in one of the noisiest, crowded and most debaucherous cities in the nation - Las Vegas. The phone rang around 6 a.m. West Coast time, the voice of a relative in Virginia telling us about the World Trade Center attacks. All I wanted in that moment was to get home to my family, to feel safe and secure in the presence of loved ones. There is nothing more important to me than family, and last week I shared an amazing adventure with my mom and dad in Alaska. The trip was a surprise gift for them, to show gratitude and respect for all the sacrifices they've made for me and my sister. I can't say either of my parents are bitten by the travel bug. My father has never even traveled overseas and doesn't really have the desire to do so. For the first time in his life, he now has a passport, a necessity for the Alaska trip because we also visited Canada for a short time. This photo was taken in the Yukon Territory, where you can find some of the most wild nature in all of Canada. Where winter temperatures commonly fall below -30 Celsius, with gusting winds infiltrating your nostrils and freezing water on your face. Even at the beginning of September, the air was crisp, cold and wondrous. I loved it!

On this somber day, I think back to last week, when I was standing in the presence of the most magnificent and majestic nature my eyes have ever seen. Completely peaceful environments where animals, humans and objects of nature follow the natural order of things. The cycle of life - where the strong and resilient survive.

Tell me please - where can I find wild, remote and mountainous nature in Russia? Kamatchka or the Altai region? I want to plan another trip for early winter, but need help on where to go and local travel guides who can assist me w/language barriers and arrangements, etc. Any recommendations are welcome.

Next week I'll start writing again....so look for new stories. :) 

Comments

( 87 comments — Leave a comment )
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1way_to_english
Sep. 11th, 2014 04:24 pm (UTC)
Kamatchka is pretty cold.
the Altai region is more picturesque but people are abundant there.
peacetraveler22
Sep. 11th, 2014 04:50 pm (UTC)
Cold is good! :) Even windy, snowy conditions are okay for me. I'm completely tolerant of below zero temps. I'm 100% warm blooded, always craving cold temperatures with a strong dislike for bright sunlight and warmth.
seadevil001
Sep. 11th, 2014 04:25 pm (UTC)
Kamchatka is really amazing. I would say Magadan/Pevek region is very wild as well, but it is not very tourist friendly. And 8 months a year it is hard to go outdoor there.
Check this guy out:
http://kiowa-mike.livejournal.com/tag/%D1%82%D1%83%D0%BD%D0%B4%D1%80%D0%B0

Actually he may have advice were to go as a tourist in those places.
.
peacetraveler22
Sep. 11th, 2014 04:52 pm (UTC)
Most of Russia is not tourist friendly! But I need the help of a Russian speaker along the way, with good English skills. This is the main challenge for me. Today I've just read a great report about the bears there - http://dementievskiy.livejournal.com/382870.html. Awesome! Unfortunately, I didn't see any bears in Alaska, although there are plenty there.
(no subject) - seadevil001 - Sep. 11th, 2014 05:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 11th, 2014 05:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
sergechel
Sep. 11th, 2014 04:42 pm (UTC)
Ural mountains )

the border of Europe and Asia
peacetraveler22
Sep. 11th, 2014 04:52 pm (UTC)
Seems there are too many people there. Which part is most remote? I want to go somewhere where there are few humans.
(no subject) - sergechel - Sep. 11th, 2014 05:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ski_traveller - Sep. 19th, 2014 12:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
a_nimaida
Sep. 11th, 2014 04:45 pm (UTC)
Tell me please - where can I find wild, remote and mountainous nature in Russia? Kamatchka or the Altai region?>>>


a very large area
beyond the Ural Mountains to the Pacific Ocean to the east))
peacetraveler22
Sep. 11th, 2014 04:53 pm (UTC)
Have you been to this area? How will I be able to get around without good Russian skills? I don't want to get lost in the Russian forest, surviving off of wild mushrooms and berries for the rest of my life. :))
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Sep. 11th, 2014 05:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 11th, 2014 05:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Sep. 11th, 2014 05:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 11th, 2014 05:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Sep. 11th, 2014 06:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 11th, 2014 06:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Sep. 11th, 2014 06:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Sep. 11th, 2014 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 11th, 2014 05:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Sep. 11th, 2014 05:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 11th, 2014 05:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
me_frai
Sep. 11th, 2014 04:58 pm (UTC)
Transbaikal region (Barguzin mountain in Buryatiya), but winter isn`t the best time to go there I think
me_frai
Sep. 11th, 2014 05:00 pm (UTC)
In Northern Caucasus region you can find rather wild and remote places, and it`s not as cold in winter as Eastern Siberia, but some places are not safe and there are not any turist facilities almost at all. But the last thing is global russian problem I suppose)
peacetraveler22
Sep. 11th, 2014 05:26 pm (UTC)
I don't mind the polar temps or long nights. Lake Baikal - it's a dream! But so far away and requires a lot of money and time. Yes, tourist infrastructure is a problem in all parts of Russia. I don't really understand the National Parks system there, but I believe one exists to regulate and maintain some of these wilderness areas.
(no subject) - pin_gwin - Sep. 11th, 2014 07:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 11th, 2014 07:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pin_gwin - Sep. 11th, 2014 08:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 11th, 2014 10:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pin_gwin - Sep. 12th, 2014 03:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 12th, 2014 02:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
real_marsel
Sep. 11th, 2014 05:44 pm (UTC)
I remember that day...
peacetraveler22
Sep. 11th, 2014 05:46 pm (UTC)
It can never be forgotten...:(( Just waiting for another terrorist event to happen here in America. So many crazy extremists running around and some of them are holding U.S. and European passports.
tombormor
Sep. 11th, 2014 07:44 pm (UTC)
Dear Shannon,
Unfortunately, I haven't ever been to Kamchatka, but I heard a lot about it, and it must be magnificent. But I've been to Altay mountains many times, and you can find some of my pictures here: https://www.facebook.com/tamara.b.morozova/media_set?set=a.283910648316.144179.731738316&type=3.

This trip was in January, so it might be interesting for you. And if you need I could share some information and tips about Altay. Beware, temperatures there may fell by -45-50 degrees Celsius at winter :)
peacetraveler22
Sep. 11th, 2014 07:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the photos and happy belated birthday! I hope you had a nice day. :) Thanks also for your FB message a few weeks ago. I'm sorry I did not have time to respond. I was preparing for the Alaska trip, and now I'm already on business travel again for the next few weeks. In mid-October, my work schedule should clear up. Let's try to meet for coffee, tea or some stronger beverage :)) then.
(no subject) - tombormor - Sep. 11th, 2014 08:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
pin_gwin
Sep. 11th, 2014 08:24 pm (UTC)
Some Ideas
This blog may give you some ideas.
http://aquatek-filips.livejournal.com/
This nice guy recently was on Baikal lake,
Also he has lots of Krym reports since he is from Sevastopol, and he loves that place. BTW, this part of (what do you think???) is not so developed and mostly highland area. I also pretty sure it is absolutely safe there, it is not a hot spot like painted in our local media.
You may also consider Russian North, like Solovki, I think, this place is wild enough in a special prospective.
https://www.google.com/maps/@64.8336825,35.7785867,8z?hl=en
Also - if you will go to Russia now, you may be subjected to the results of anti-American propaganda.
peacetraveler22
Sep. 11th, 2014 10:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Some Ideas
I read the blogger aquatek-filips, he's an amazing photographer! I like all of his reports. Never heard of Solovki, but it looks quite interesting. Thanks! :)
g_kar
Sep. 11th, 2014 10:10 pm (UTC)
Altai region is awesome.
I was there once when I was 7 or 8 y. o. - nature there was quite beautiful.

BTW, is Las Vegas more or less noisy/crowded than Moscow? :)
peacetraveler22
Sep. 11th, 2014 10:22 pm (UTC)
Las Vegas is only crowded in the main tourist area, where all of the flashy casinos are. But, yes, it's very crowded, loud and full of drunk people and scantily clad women. In some ways, the same as Moscow. :)
(no subject) - g_kar - Sep. 13th, 2014 10:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
kremlin_curant
Sep. 12th, 2014 12:30 am (UTC)
Beautiful picture. Name of Yukon brings me back to my childhood. Jack London was one of my favorite writers all my life. Together with Mark Twain. So were for many people in USSR. Now it looks like all that connected to America is considered as very bad for population of Russia. Poor people.
On 9/11 at ~ 7 am I worked as livery driver and after just passing Twins towers dropped off the passengers by nearby building. I still remember what I thought at that moment - they are so huge, it would be very bad if they fall down. In one hour I found out the plane hit one of the tower. Then another one. In the base everyone was silent.
We had 14 drivers. 2 Americans, 6 Russians and 6 Arabs. Arabs and Russians sat on the benches opposite each other. One of our guy started talking Arabs committed this crime and all Arabs must be killed.
After he said that I stand up and came to one Arab and just asked him - "How you doing, Dangie?" Everyone started laughing. As you know "dangie" in russian means money. This guy tried to learnt russian language and was able to learnt this word. We gave him nickname Dangie. Rest of the day went with no animosity.
peacetraveler22
Sep. 12th, 2014 02:13 pm (UTC)
I think all Americans remember where they were when they heard about the first plane crash. I can't imagine being in NYC that day, but Americans are very resilient and full of strong spirit. We band together in the face of tragedies, which I view as a good thing. I think a lot of Canada is very beautiful! You are not so far away from the Maritime Provinces there in New York. I'm planning a summer trip next year to this region of Canada.
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Sep. 12th, 2014 02:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 12th, 2014 02:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Sep. 12th, 2014 02:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
tiana_verner
Sep. 12th, 2014 12:45 am (UTC)
Hi!
I live in the Altai region. This valid beautiful place. Near us there is Altai Republic - geographically this place is called Mountain Altai.
Its nature is surprising and unique. The special beauty and power of these places attracts many people from the different countries.
However, the best time for visit of Mountain Altai is a May-September. The nature here is diverse paints and fills soul with delight.
In the winter of the mountain are monotonous in the severe magnificence.

http://www.mountain.ru/article/article_display1.php?article_id=3913
peacetraveler22
Sep. 12th, 2014 02:15 pm (UTC)
Hello! I imagine in winter time some of the views are not as good because everything is probably covered by snow. Thanks for the article. It looks so beautiful! I like remote places like this, full of untouched nature and less humans.
(no subject) - tiana_verner - Sep. 12th, 2014 02:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
white_walker
Sep. 12th, 2014 02:47 am (UTC)
Sayan Mountaines is less famous than Altai or Baikal, but also very beautiful and has a lot of ethnografic monuments. If you have enough time you can visit all three regions. These places are popular among tourists but you always can try to find some new wild places.
peacetraveler22
Sep. 12th, 2014 02:16 pm (UTC)
Popular among tourists? You mean Russian or foreign tourists? Seems to me there is not much tourist infrastructure in these regions, but maybe I'm wrong.
(no subject) - white_walker - Sep. 12th, 2014 04:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 12th, 2014 04:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
andrey_kaminsky
Sep. 12th, 2014 04:50 am (UTC)
Настроение что надо:)
Look, the British really know animals. In vain scots are going to leave them.
http://eska.livejournal.com/1989823.html - The author is very interesting too.
Энд, сongratulations;) this text was very poetic, i even used the translator for some words :) Alaska inspires, undoubtedly.
The task of finding an English-speaking travel enthusiast living in the wilderness ... It's not easy. I would recommend you contact my compatriot Sasha Grey. I'm sure she has the right connections and could help;)
peacetraveler22
Sep. 12th, 2014 02:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Настроение что надо:)
Cats are an annoyance for me, I strongly dislike them! Fluffy dogs are better. :) I watch closely to see whether Scotland will vote for independence from the UK. It's all quite interesting, as I've traveled to England, Scotland and Wales. Alaska is beyond inspirational, but I think the same scenery in any region would move me. I envision Norway to be very much the same as Alaska. I constantly keep my eyes open for some intelligent, artistic, rugged mountain man to accompany me on journeys. Unfortunately, all these attributes are difficult to find in a single man.
sla_len
Sep. 12th, 2014 04:56 am (UTC)
My uncle lives in Kamatchatka. There is realy beautiful nature here. But it is very difficult to get to wild places especially in the winter. You should use a helicopter to get to the mountains and geysers for example.
I could recomend you Altay. I was here with my family. It's amazing and gorgeous.
peacetraveler22
Sep. 12th, 2014 02:17 pm (UTC)
It was the same in Alaska! Many towns and places (such as glaciers) are only accessible via water or air. So, we took a float plane to the wilderness region and were supposed to take a helicopter flight onto a glacier. Unfortunately, the helicopter was cancelled due to bad weather. :(
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