Ice Caves

Ah the joys of spending the summer in a place where you can hike to a mountain peak and swing by an ice cave on your way back. It was a great end to a hike up to Bonanza Mine, my favorite hiking trail, and definitely one of the tops for this area.

The ice caves here, as elsewhere, glisten a beaming, bright blue. I set my black backpack down and watch as they shimmer and they shine, almost oceanic, and I find that I just sit there and stare at them, just like I can at the open ocean. And I can sit and ponder because there are no tourists here. I can sit and relax, listening to the rush of water from Jumbo Creek.

And so I sit. As I contemplate the ice caves I begin deliberating about whether or not to leave. Mostly this involves calculating how much time it takes to get back to the shuttle, which leaves every half hour, taking me from Kennicott to McCarthy. My calculations, however, are interrupted by the sound of falling rock. I look up to see that my black backpack has been pelted by stones. I cover my head. The stones have rolled off of the glacier. I step back and make the decision in an instant, considering it an omen that it’s time to move on from my reflective little spot in front of the blue ice caves. I’d like moments like these to last forever, but on I walk.

Published by

Jonathan Erdman

Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy, as the Executive Director of the Wrangell Mountain Center. When not in McCarthy, you'll typically find me in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, writing and working with local activists. My primary writing project right now is a novel set in remote bush Alaska, of the magical realism genre wherein an earnest and independent young woman finds a mysterious radio belonging to her grandmother, a device that has paranormal bandwidth and a disturbing ability to mess with one's mental stability.

Consider this post an invitation, an invitation to comment and collaborate ~ In Solidarity, JE

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