Alaska – Hatcher’s Pass on a Sunday Morning (22)

Hatcher’s Pass is a place I best remember for our sledding trips. Every once in a while, in the winter, someone would get a sledding trip together and we’d get up there and sled down the incredibly steep slopes.

It wasn’t that far away though. This is the view from the intersection with the corner store near my house:

That mountain is one side of Hatcher’s Pass. My mom had some kind of obsession (as it seemed to my teenage assessment) with going hiking there. She’d go with Dad a lot, and be all rapturous when she got back. She always wanted the whole family to go.

I could think of nothing I’d rather do less than go hiking with my family. I put up a fight. If I’d been born 25 years earlier, they would have called it anti-social. But I wasn’t anti-social, I was just anti-PARENT at that point.

Sledding, though, that was fun. If mom had suggested THAT, I might have gone along with it.

Anyway, this was summer and no sledding was going to happen.  In a weird twist, we’d be doing exactly what I’d always fought against my mother to not be doing. Just looking at nature.

Amazing how close it was. I had always remembered it as further. Here’s what we saw:

And I can’t leave out the river:


This is not a desert. It’s a damp, cold land.

It was raining (not evident in the pictures). So we drove on. We saw the Independence mine buildings, something I’d never paid much attention to while living there. Hatcher’s pass is an abandoned mine, a fact wholly obscured for me by it’s sledding promise.

Chris and I saw it, and we saw the river and the not-all-the way melted snow. I just wanted to sleep.

“Stop. Let’s just sleep.”

“No, they will charge money. See?”

Oh yeah. I forgot this was a state park. Yep, it was 5 bucks. I was tired and weak, and I wanted to kill Chris at this point, but I was too weak. He turned around, a familiar maneuver, something that promised YET AGAIN no sleep.

I thought about venting my murderous thoughts at my husband, but I remembered he was pretty tired too. And really, would it improve the situation? We were stuck as we were.

And then! and THEN! we had stopped. Chris found a pull-out just outside the park. One that DIDN”T CHARGE FIVE DOLLARS.

“Do you want to stop here and sleep?” Chris asked.

It wasn’t even 7 am. “Yes, yes” I said. The car was warm. Since we were in one place, I could shut my eyes and finally rest.

I sipped the last bit of my warm coffee and pulled my shawl up to my chin.

sweet oblivion.