On this trip’s best Alaska day we took a hike – with lucky fine weather and great companions – two boys, nine and four, and their mom. We walked the little gravel track through Powerline Pass in Chugach State Park above Anchorage – a broad valley with a creek and many possible hikes – one of my favorite places in the world.
Lady Baby toddled a good way (considering the length of her stride), then, shaded by a blue umbrella, rode in a pack on her dad’s shoulders, carrying her pink “bey bey,” and keeping her eyes fixed on the antics of the two boys and Lady Cora. They ranged ahead of us, came back. And tore off again. (Four-year olds are not good at conserving energy and it dissipates early on, sometimes meaning a heavy armful for mom!)
Sitting on a heathery flank of the mountain, fragrant and warm in the sun, we ate a lunch of apples and egg salad sandwiches. No bugs – Alaska bliss. Her steps unsteady but determined on the springy ground cover, Lady Baby offered around a bag of chips. The boys repeatedly climbed above us, ran or rolled down, and tossed balls to Lady Cora.
Exactly 20 years ago, on most Wednesdays from late May to September, I walked in Powerline Pass. I wanted to make a record of the passing season and noted the retreat of snow, bloom dates, bearberry’s turn to red, and the first snowfall – and I filled pages with drawings of wildflowers. Those were great days.
But this day was even better.
I remember those hikes you took, and always loved the little drawing/paintings you did. Didn’t you make books out of your notes? Anyway, I thought you were brave indeed not only to go up there by yourself, but to stick to your project for the whole summer. How fun to be able to revisit that wonderful place and see it through the eyes of a new generation.