Getting high again

It was a bit spontaneous, but I decided to hike Bonanza trail. I cheated and drove a wheeler up most of the way, but I hiked the most hellacious and steepest section.

It will be a slow recovery for the knee. Last time it took several years before I even began to feel like I was nearing 100%. I’m resting it quite a bit, but it’s mid-summer and the needs of my soul were greater to me than resting the knee. So up I went.

The views from the riddgeline above Bonanza Mine are nearly 360 degrees, and there’s always something about getting way up high that gives me a healthy sense of perspective. I always get just a touch of vertigo when I’m way up in the clouds, so the whole experience can get quite surreal, even spiritual one might say.

The hiking was good for me, too. I’ve been doing daily walks, but it’s not the same thing as a few hours of vigorous hiking, goat-like, up a steep incline.

Note: Those are mountains in the background, of the picture (above) of the mines. Here’s a somewhat closer view of the range:


Bonanza Mine trail 2018 Alaska
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, 2018

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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.

7 thoughts on “Getting high again”

    1. Yeah, it was quite a challenge to mine up there, especially 100 years ago. But it was funded by all the robber barons, like the Morgans. It’s funny that you mention the mining, because I met an Australian at the mine and he was in awe of it. He said, “It’s amazing what people do for greed.” He said it with a big smile, and I just smiled back and nodded, knowingly…..

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Brother, I miss hiking but then again I live in Texas now. 🙂

    I learned to hike under the tutelage of Rev. Rufas A. Morgan. When he taught me to hike up Mt. Le Conte, he was legally blind. I had to watch out to make sure he didn’t miss something. He never did. He would frequently stop to point something out to me. He knew it was there. He just couldn’t see it. He was always right.

    Here is an article about his 174th trip up Mt. Le Conte at age 93.

    Reverend Morgan was know as the Moses of the Mountain.

    The Bible tells us that Moses was 80 when he ascended Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments and was still climbing at 120 when he died on Mount Nebo at “the top of Pisgah” (Deuteronomy 34:1). Morgan would have agreed that climbing helped keep Moses spry: “His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished” (34:7).

    Thanks for allowing me to ramble on. Your article has returned many fine memories for me.

    Be blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Brother, he was amazing. I published this today as I thought of him. You might like the video of the song in it. It is by Chelle Rose and about Rufus Morgan. She is his cousin.

        So … I describe myself as a disciple of Jesus. My conversion occurred in the Baptist church, eons ago in Atlanta. I am still a member of a Baptist church here in Dallas but don’t attend there. I attend an Episcopal Church that a few of us helped start up here ( I live about an hour out of Dallas in the middle of nowhere).

        Over the years I have attended Lutheran, Episcopal, Catholic, Baptist, Non Denominational Charismatic, Non Denominational undefined :), Church of Christ and probably others. I’ve moved around a lot.

        Anyway, not much of a joiner. The process is cumbersome and most churches don’t seem to care too much these days if you join or not. I’ve also discovered they don’t care too much when you leave either. I’ve never ever heard from one when I quit attending. That is even knowing the Ministers very well. It is very odd I think.

        Oh well, perhaps more than you wanted to know. 🙂


  2. Wow! That’s beautiful up there. Worth it, huh? So . . . are there plans to restore the old mine. I would think that would cost a fortune to do????

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They pretty much took all the copper worth taking. There’s still copper in the mines and perhaps in the area, but it isn’t worth the trouble to get it and then transport it out of state. As glaciers melt, they may discover new and untapped copper loads. We’ll see.


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