State Park, Alaska
Wood-Tikchik is my kind of park: huge wilderness lakes interconnected by clear rivers filled with wild salmon and trout.
Wood-Tikchik was supposed to be a National Park, according to the story, but the State of Alaska beat the Feds to it by making it a state park. Just north of Dillingham, the park encompasses most of the watershed for two river and lake systems, the Wood River and the Tikchik River. The lakes are fiord-like on their western margins and open tundra on the east.
As a big fan of rivers, I love a river's mouth or "boca" more than any other feature. The energy of the moving water entering and then dissipating into a larger lake or ocean is fascinating to just sit and watch. It doesn't hurt that they are often good places to fish. For those with such discriminating tastes in river features, Wood-Tikchik offers some particularly pristine and spectacular bocas.
My 1983 kayak trip in the park is a highlight in all of my wilderness adventures. Simply stated, I believe this is for three reasons.
1. I got to fly in a Grumman Widgeon, a wonderful 1940s float plane.
2. I caught way more trout, salmon, grayling and char than anyone person should expect to ever catch.
3. In the gathering darkness at midnight we were visited by a mother wolf and her pups. She wanted to travel down this beach and not in the willow thickets behind us, but our camp lie in her path. So she carefully picked up her pups one by one and carried them past the dying flames of our campfire. Wow, pinch me.