Hatcher Pass


The whole writing school changed venue for the day. A chartered bus delivered writers and professors to Hatcher Pass, an old mining zone a few miles north of Wasilla. We are above the tree zone in alpine pocked here and there by mining rubble. As if we are back in Aki’s rain forest, clouds fragment against sharp edged peaks.1

The writers and staff soon spread out. Some poke around the remains of an old gold mine. Others go to ground along mountain streams. Me, I follow some writers up to Gold Line Lake, a tern filing the depression left by a melted glacier. The writers are gone by the time I reach the lake, disappeared as if raptured into the clouds. But a family, complete with beagle, infant, and chocolate guzzling pre-teen taking blocks the trail. The baby cries. The daddy promises to bring food as soon as he has messaged off his selfie. The pre-teen whines because there is only trail mix. But the beagle isn’t barking.


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