The Native Road to the Deep North IV

June 20

NativeRoad-IV-1The Castle Mountain air is clear. We left Seward in the morning, and arrived in the Chugach mountains toward noon. We washed our fingers and faces in the river at Hatcher Pass, and then drove up the mountain. Now we stretch our legs and inhale deeply.

The breeze is fresh and cool. These mountainsides are deep green with foliage amidst the black rock peaks and the brown loamy soil. These are the colors of Alaska, and from this pallette is painted one of its masterpieces. Across the hazy horizon, more mountains reach up toward the sky, and glaciers creep between their snow-strewn slopes.

I remember the last time I was here, we’d come earlier in the year, and these mountainsides were still completely covered in snow and ice. Now the trees and bushes have sprouted, the grass has grown, and the bears are awake and moving. Up higher, the remaining snow is melting away, transmuting into streams to breathe more life into the valley below.

On green slopes,
a cozy summer home:
mother bear’s den

We drive back down the mountain into the valley, and hike along the river.

NativeRoad-IV-2 NativeRoad-IV-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

The calm stream:
a beaver swims across
engineering ripples

Kyle Bemis
Ph.D. Student, Statistics

 

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