I scrambled across scree and boulders to explore the tunnel mine shaft of the historic Green Butte copper mine in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska.
These decomposing, rickety structures are intimidating and it took me awhile to gather up enough nerve to poke around inside. Before I was finished exploring it was time to leave, the helicopter arrived to fly us back to May Creek for the night.
During the night sometime it began to rain, torrents came down, my tent stayed dry but my tennis shoes were still wet and soggy. I made a note to always carry rain boots on these trips. I was eager for morning but didn’t know what would happen because flying in this region always depended on “weather permitting”.
Gail Niebrugge. Alaska wilderness painter