Donoho Lakes

After crossing the glacier, I emerge on the ridge line of Donoho Basin, and on the one side there’s the glacier that I just conquered, and on the other is a mess of bush and brush.

Last year I was the fearless leader and led our crew toward the general direction of the trail. Or so I thought. In reality we wound up bush-whacking it for like three hours to get to one of the lakes. Had we taken the trail, it would have been like a half hour’s hike.

Happy camper, @ the second lake in Donoho Basin, 2017

This year, I knew where the trail was, and I was good to go. Well, mostly. Before I plunge into the bush (the trail is pretty overgrown), I realize that I’ve forgotten to bring bear spray. There are usually bears out here in Donoho Basin, or so I’ve been told (I’ve never actually spotted a bear out here), so to compensate for having no bear spray, I listen to an audiobook by David Sedaris, as sort of a bear deterrent — not that I think David Sedaris would incite terror within the heart of a grizzly bear, but rather my thinking here is that the noise lets them know I’m around.

So I crank it the volume. But really, I just like listening to David Sedaris.

Donoho Basin, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, 2017

Eventually I emerge at the first Donoho lake, I’m not sure that these lakes have names, at least I’ve never heard a name, other than “the first lake” and “the second lake.”

It’s so clean and refreshing, and I pause to enjoy it. I take a drink, have a snack, and snap some pictures. A curious little critter of some sort shuffles over. When I look her way, she scuttles away. But curiosity brings her back a few times more. Well, maybe it’s curiosity, or maybe she just smells the granola.

The first lake, @ Donoho Basin, 2017

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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