Taking a break from writing school, I join some other students on a drive north of Anchorage where we find a soft mountain land. True, defeated glaciers once carved it down to bedrock and clouds could be impaled on the sharp edged peaks that backstop the valley. But on this warm, sunny day, we lay in comfort on its carpet of heather, crow berries, and other low growing mountain plants—the kind that thrive beneath the storm winds.
Once hard men dug gold out of this mountain valley. Their detritus remains: shatter trestles and freestanding walls with wood burnished a warm brown by Alaska winter weather. A pen and ink artist could turn their abandoned board piles, iron rails, and twisted sheet metal has into something beautiful