The any AC national monument and preserve gets the fewest visitors of any national park, and it boasts no rangers. No trails and no waiting in line. All the more reason Christopher Solomon went out of his way to hike a few summers ago. Chris, welcome great to be here. Is this actually a national park or what's the technicality they're. Technically Rick any act check national. Monument and preserve is its name and it. It is not a national park, but it is the least visited unit of the four hundred and one properties in the national park system, so nobody goes there white. Why do they even bother thinking of it? As part of the system you, you'd think that the least visited might be something like the Martin Van Buren national birthplace right, but no It's Antioch Chat in two. Thousand Twelve Anne check had nineteen visitors last year might have picked up to a hundred or so and you were there with how? How many people in your party three of us three of us now? Where is it and how do you get? There visualizes for me if you look at the map of Alaska Alaska? has this big tale that kind of frozen, fourteen hundred mile tail, that wags westward at come shotgun, and that's the Aleutian islands and the base of that tail is the Alaska Peninsula, and that's where any act check. You know if I wanted to go there next week. Where would I fly? What I just rent a car and drive there, or how'd I get that so one of the reasons rick? Not, very popular is it's hard to get to from Seattle where I live. It took US three flights to anchorage to King Salmon to Port Heiden which is just an airstrip built for World War Two in the middle of nowhere on the Bering Sea and then we backed packed with sixty five pound packs for twenty two miles to reach the centerpiece of the the. The National Monument, which is a gorgeous volcanic crater, so ease of access is not one of its selling points. Is it worth the trouble? Yeah, I was thinking about this on the drive over here and how to summarize it. I have had the good fortune to travel all over the world as a travel writer, I was with a photographer who shoots pictures all over. Over the world and beautiful places we agreed we'd never seen a place as unique as okay. How can you write in? Your article is just gorgeous about this that it was mind-bending. Lee Gorgeous is the desolation that's part of it, or what makes it better than just going to any national park, so maybe to convey what it's like I need to tell you just. Just a little bit about its geologic in human history, which is more interesting than it sounds about the time. The Egyptians were ruling the world. A seven thousand foot volcano blew its top with a with a force of ten thousand nuclear bombs ruined the bigger eruptions we we know of, and then the volcano collapsed on itself and created a crater that could swallow Manhattan. That crater filled with water, so it looked like crater lake national park, then that lake blew out in his biblical flood in over the next couple thousand years, this lost worlds was sort of created inside that crater, and it just went kind of unnoticed, except for the native peoples for thousands of years until nineteen thirty, when this man called the glacier priests arrived, and the Glacier priest was father, Bernard, how he's one of these Jesuit priests who was cut from the old cloth, swashbuckling sort of Jesuits, and he, he barnstorm all over the forty-ninth state, having these wild adventures by Bush plane. Plane by dog sled is write ups win the Saturday Evening Post and the National Geographic and in nineteen thirty, he wrote about visiting Antioch Check, and he described it as paradise found this this lost world where orchids bloomed in the volcanically warmed soil, and the rabbits were gigantic, and they came up and walked right up to his crew, which was a bunch of the Santa Clara football players, and and they felt bad killing them to eat them, but they did anyway. Did you read his writing the in preparation for your trip so I? Did I read about his writings about the great? Great Moon Crater of the earth called it, and then what happened is he wanted to go back the next year nineteen, thirty one and any act check blew up again, and he goes back and talks about it no longer in these Milton, s Kinda paradise found terms, but but in this dante-esque hellish terms describes himself peering into this blackened inferno, and then they go into the crater a couple months after it's blown up again, and they nearly die of poisonous gasses, and they're, and they're put their beans on a funeral and their beans Boileau, and they shove a thermometer in the ground. Ground thermometer explodes, and it's just this hellish wild landscape. That's the setting we go back eight years later. Just kinda see what it's like, and a lot of the soot has washed off from that nineteen thirty one explosion, but it has this kind of Sier Flinty beauty desolation sublime.

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