We all have ghost towns. Impermanent places we dream of returning to. Here was Alaska's. In 1938, the last copper train left the Wrangell Mountains. But the spirit of the old days-free-wheeling, self-reliant, bounty-blessed-lived on in the remote town of McCarthy. The valley's few holdouts were joined over time by a gallery of prospectors, grifters, back-to-the-landers, dreamers, escape artists, hippies, speculators, preachers, and outlaws. While the rest of Alaska boomed in the new oil age, an old and makeshift way of life persisted against the quiet undertow of the past, that ebbing toward the wilderness that was here before us.
Then the modern world found its way back in. A road, a bridge, a national park. A mass shooting that left six dead. Cold Mountain Path is a deeply American saga of renunciation and renewal--a rollicking local history that is also a lyrical exploration of time, loss, and change. . . and a pulsating account of the morning that brought Alaska's ghost town decades to an end. Tom Kizzia's previous book, Pilgrim's Wilderness, was an Amazon Top-Ten Book of the Year and was named Alaska's best True Crime book by the New York Times. Kizzia has written for The New Yorker and was a longtime reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He has a place of his own near McCarthy.
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