Kaylene Johnson: Writer and Photojournalist

Our Perfect Wild

An unlikely couple—a wild boy and a good girl—Ray and Barbara Bane, both teachers, set off from the sooty landscape of West Virginia into the snowy panoramas of Alaska. There they make another unlikely commitment: to learn the Old Ways of the land they come to adopt—and defend. With her characteristic poise and bravery, distinguished Alaskan journalist Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan chronicles the Banes’ story of environmental gumption in the wilderness.

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--Molly Peacock, The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life’s Work at 72 and Paradise, Piece By Piece.

A Tender Distance
Adventures Raising My Sons in Alaska

Treasure in the Attic: Writing Trails Across Time

January 4th, 2018 by

When I was commissioned to write Trails Across Time: History of an Alaska Mountain Corridor, I had no idea that I would discover such rich and fascinating stories. Places I’d traveled for years, often on our family’s way to go fishing on the Kenai Peninsula, took on new meaning as I learned about the area’s geologic, Native, gold rush and transportation history. Researching this book was like digging into the cobwebbed trunk of my grandmother’s attic. She was just someone you took for granted until you opened that chest and discovered the living treasures of a real human being. Most interesting were the stories of the people who first claimed this land as home. From the complex cultures of Alaska’s Native peoples to tough women who struck out on their own, these are stories of courage, heartbreak, and humor.

Nancy Lord, recently reviewed  Trails Across Time: History of an Alaska Mountain Corridor in the Anchorage Daily News.  The second edition of this book was released in October 2017 with new photos and stories about what has since been designated the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area.

I hope you’ll read Nancy’s review. The book is available at local booksellers and online. You can get a signed copy by ordering it through the KMTA website, or come visit my favorite bookstore, Fireside Books, in Palmer.

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  • About Kaylene

    Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan is a long-time Alaskan who makes her home in Palmer. She has found adventure on Denali, the Chugach Mountains, and as a wrangler and cook in the Brooks Range. Her award-winning articles have appeared in Alaska magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Louisville Review and other publications. Her books include Our Perfect Wild: Ray and Barbara Bane's Journeys and the Fate of the Far North; Canyons and Ice: The Wilderness Travels of Dick Griffith; A Tender Distance: Adventures Raising My Sons in Alaska; Trails Across Time: History of An Alaska Mountain Corridor; and Portrait of the Alaska Railroad.

    She holds a BA from Vermont College and an MFA in Writing from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky.