Exploring Nugget Creek Alaska


Excepts from my journal of a trip in 1994 to a remote cabin above Nugget Creek in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska.  We settled into an interesting schedule during our five days at the cabin, exploring the area on our ATV’s, scoping the river and canyon walls with binoculars to observe wild game, cooking, eating, and writing in my journal or completing ink drawings on location.  A Grizzly bear appeared daily below the cabin along the creek bed scourging for food, fattening itself before winter hibernation.  Bald Eagles soared overhead, and an occasional red fox was spotted quietly hunting along the canyon bluffs.  We were content in this amazing place.

One day we decided to go back down the ridge to the Nugget Creek public use cabin at the creek crossing and explore up the Kuskalana river to the bottom of the Kuskalana Glacier moraine.  I sketched an ink drawing of the cabin while using the handle bars of my four wheeler as a table.

“Nugget Creek Cabin” original ink drawing 7.5″ x 10″ ©Gail Niebrugge, collection of the artist.

As we approached the Kuskalana River we found a crude airstrip along a gravel bar where an ancient truck looked abandoned, missing a tire, the wheel propped up by a rock.

“Nugget Creek Truck” original ink drawing 10″ x 14″, framed 20″ x 24″, ©Gail Niebrugge, giclee prints available, call for price and availability of original.

The awesome thing about our trip is that so far we had not seen another living soul, nor an airplane, we were alone in the wilderness.  The silence of nature is soothing and refreshing.  We were energized.

More tomorrow,

Gail Niebrugge, Alaska artist

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