Sunday, November 13, 2011

Eureka. Nelchina. Mendeltna.

     I am fascinated by the names of small towns and villages in the Copper River valley area and beyond; places like Gakona, Chistochina, Chitina...many from the Athabascan Ahtna Indian language. It is 150 miles from Eagle River to Tazlina, and I share the road with very few people, with the exception of truckers delivering goods to the Eureka Lodge, Sheep Mountain Lodge and many other small stops, ultimately arriving with major deliveries in Anchorage. I have driven this road hundreds of times and never tire of the myriad details the land reveals under changing weather and light conditions. The light may assume a different bend or quality as you sweep along the flats of the Matanuska River or sail down and around escalating mountains that a few miles prior created an entirely different character of  shadow and luminence. It is fascinating, nourishing, and humbling to behold. Quinn doggy loves it too; never missing a chance to spring like a rabbit in the snow and nuzzle frantically for voles running around under thickly laid grasses covered by the warmth and insulation of ten inches of snow. He delights in his game.
     Gulkana. Chisana. Salina. Nabesna.
     And I delight in mine. The way words sound in the quiet air when I say them aloud, to myself. Still. Delicate. Austere. Like the land.


  1. It looks so beautiful up there - these are lovely shots. I can't help wondering how that Alaskan super-storm affected you earlier this month. I hope all is well...

  2. Thank you; we are located in the Southcentral region, and the storm battered the western coast; there has been a great deal of erosion in some of the villages and people have had to move their homes. But we are fortunate lives were not lost.