In school we were tasked with reading the newspaper every other week, choosing one article about a current event and writing a summary about it. This is my first summary that I did for school and I am going to do them every two weeks so I will be posting the ones I like the most. So look for them!
The first article I chose was “Alaska’s Fallen Copper Kingdom” by Diane Cole in the Wall Street Journal.The author of the article traveled to Kennecott, Alaska and she wrote this article about the history of the copper mining in this town. In this post I will also talk about my experiences at Kennecott when I visited it this summer.
This is the summary of her article that I wrote:
Summary of Article
The Kennecott mines in Kennecott, Alaska were abruptly shut down in 1938 and everyone who lived in this mining town rushed to catch the last train out of town and they left everything there. They even left food on the table. One of the Kennecott mines is called Jumbo Mine and it was connected to the mill where they processed all of the ore that came down from the mountain. Jumbo Mine is built on a rock glacier and that glacier is always moving so all of the buildings that were there were connected to the side of the mountain, which prevented them to slide down with the glacier.
My Visit to Kennecott
I have been to Kennecott and it is a truly amazing landmark in United States’ largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias, which is by the way part of the 4 parks that are a UNESCO Wold Heritage Site. This national park is one of the least visited because it is quite remote.
When I was there they told us that the mill where they processed the ore that came down from the mountain is the tallest wooden structure in the world!
Also when I was there I took a long and hard hike to Jumbo Mine which is one of the mines that was connected to the mill structure by cable cars that were carrying the ore down from the mines. On my hike to Jumbo Mine at some points the elevation gain was so high and the trail was so steep that I felt like I could not go any further. Also on the last stretch up to the mine we had to run on all-fours so that we could keep up with the sliding rocks that were sliding down the side of the mountain because we started to hike up the rock glacier. The views on the hike were out of this world!! We saw the sparkling white glaciers down below, the ends of the glaciers that were covered in rocks that moved over thousands of years, and the towering peaks of rugged mountains right at eye level. Also this is a hard hike so plan on a full day… and that it is really really worth it.
Where we started the vegetation was plentiful and as we neared the top we went through an area where there was just about no vegetation, and then finally there were just rocks. As we were nearing we saw rusty cans and the way we knew we were getting close was that we started seeing more and more rusty cans that I think probably the mine workers threw down the side of the mountain when they finished the food from them.
We also met many little insects and animals like a groundhog, lots of mosquitoes and a yellow jacket (that hurt REALLY bad!). We could not go inside of the mine but some of the past buildings that were there in mining times are still there! That was truly awesome to see the collapsing structures, the items people left behind, the transfer station, and climb on a rock glacier.
When you are in Kennecott there are also other things to do like going for a glacier hike, other hikes in the area, look at some of the historic buildings in town, there is a lodge, or you can just take a walk and explore the town! Make sure you go to the National Park ranger station and become a Junior Ranger!
We went on a full day glacier hike on Root Glacier with Kennicott Wilderness Guides and Kiren and Jonathan were our guides. They were the best guides ever because they explained everything and they knew what they were doing, and they went out of their way to show us as much as possible. We walked through an ice cave which had water running under us and we had to walk on the two sides of the ice so we wouldn’t get wet.
There were blue rivers running atop of the glacier, deep beautiful blue holes with ice crystals, huge deep cracks with waterfalls running into then. My favorite was Jonathan’s Lost Lake. I named it that because Jonathan, our guide found it a few days back and he was trying to find it for us again. These lakes can appear and disappear in no time so he thought it might be gone. It was beautiful blue lake and you could walk across it because it was so shallow.
If you are planning a trip to Alaska or if Alaska is on your “bucket list” Kennecott is a place that I truly recommend to go to. If you have kids and are thinking: “Aw we can’t travel to a place like that with kids!” – forget that!!!!!! When I went I went with 2 families and 3 kids. We kids love stuff like that!!
For more tips or any questions that you have comment down below!