My theme this year is Places in my Heart, all about the places I've been and loved and that have mattered to me in a lasting sense.
For my regular readers, you'll see more than the usual once-a-week posts from me this month. I'm having a great time writing them, so I hope you enjoy reading them, too.
K is for Kennicott/McCarthy
Kennicott (or Kennecott) /McCarthy is a ghost town in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park area of Alaska. In its heyday, in the early 1900s, it was an active silver and copper mining district. Now, it's a fascinating tourist attraction (a National Historic Landmark) with a dramatic setting, which pulls in wilderness and adventure-minded travelers.
Even just getting there is an adventure. First, you have to get to Alaska. Then, you have to drive part of the Alcan until it dries up, then drive down a deteriorating highway (the Edgerton) that was once a railbed. If you're renting your car, you're not even supposed to drive this road. I have a couple of railspikes that I found along this road among my treasured possessions. At a certain point, you have to get out of your car and go the rest of the way on foot. There's a footbridge now, but on my first visit, I had to pull myself across the river in a dangling handtruck.
You can tour the Mill, eat and stay at the seasonally open Lodge or some refurbished cabins made into Bed and Breakfasts, hike on a glacier, or just sit and feel the awe.
I've had the good fortune to visit a few times, including spending a week there as part of a geology class offered to teachers by the University of Alaska. It's on my list of places to go back to and show my children and husband. It's not easy traveling, but it's well worth it for the vistas that will linger in your mind forever.