What did they Talk About?


Only Aki and I walk among the Treadwell ruins today. The forest of cottonwoods and alders that overgrow the ruins provide scant protection from rain that has already wiped out the snow cover. Only thin skins of ice over drains survive the deluge, each holding little shinny bubbles that looked to have captured winter sunlight. Unless the temperature drops they will be gone soon.

iceWithout beauty to distract me, I think about the women who lived above ground here while their men pushed their mining tunnels further under Gastineau Channel. What did they think of days like this that would have been made more miserable for them by the nonstop “boom, boom, boom” of the ore stamp mills. At night, what did they talk about with their husbands or sons? How could they come up with stories worth the effort of telling over the stamp mill noise?

ruinsI climb up from sea level, surprised to find my boots sinking deep into the water soaked, formerly firm gravel trail. Turning left, I head for the Glory Hole overlook where we can watch the storm move up channel. Aki doesn’t follow but waits where the trail forks toward the car. Even she finds little reason today to stay in this monochromatic world being washed clean by rain.


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