Discovering Remants of Historic Railway


We floated the Copper River on day 3 with the goal to explore the historic Copper River and Northwest Railroad rail bed along the Tasnuna River delta.  Each stop revealed another part of the history of this region.  Braided into many channels, a hiking trail would not necessarily follow the original route of the rail bed in this area.  We were blessed with another day of sunshine and mild weather.  I found an abundance of wildflowers growing in this region, and took many photos to use as reference for future paintings.

Down river near Heney Glacier Lake area, we hacked, clawed, climbed, and thrashed our way through dense underbrush seeking evidence of the rail bed.  And there was much to be found, if you had the heart to bushwhack in heat and mosquitoes.  At this spot we found a collapsed bridge with rails still suspended across a fast moving creek, an amazing treasure.  Rusty spikes still intact and the date 1918 stamped on a rail.  We explored several sites along the east shore of the Copper River in this area with much success.

More tomorrow,

Gail Niebrugge, Alaska artist

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