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A lifelong Alaskan, Steve Kahn moved at the age of nine from the “metropolis” of Anchorage to the foothills of the Chugach Mountains. A childhood of berry picking, fishing, and hunting led to a life as a big-game guide. When he wasn’t guiding in the spring and fall, he worked as a commercial fisherman and earned his pilot’s license, pursuits that took him to the far reaches of the Alaskan wilderness. He lived through some of the most important moments of the state’s history: the 1964 earthquake (the most powerful in U.S. history), the Farewell Burn wildfire, the last king crab season in Kodiak Island waters, the Exxon Valdez oil spill and cleanup, even the far-reaching effects of the 9/11 attacks.
The landscape of the essays in The Hard Way Home extends from the tip of Admiralty Island in the southeast to the Teocalli Mountains of the interior, from the windswept Alaska Peninsula to the author’s present home on Lake Clark. These essays offer a view of Alaska that is at once introspective and adventurous. Here we find the state’s plants, animals, people, geography, politics, and culture considered from an intimate perspective, leading to hard-earned lessons about conservation, sustainability, and living well. Ever the irrepressible guide, Kahn invites readers to share his experiences and discoveries and to consider questions about a place, and a life, that are disappearing.
About the Author
Steve Kahn is a lifelong Alaskan and former hunting guide who lives a subsistence-based lifestyle on Lake Clark near Port Alsworth, Alaska. He is a contributor to the anthologies Wild Moments: Adventures with Animals of the North and Crosscurrents North: Alaskans on the Environment.
Table of Contents
Map of Alaska
Part 1 - Ranging Out
Chapter 1 - One Last Cast
Chapter 2 - Hats Off to Hal
Chapter 3 - Burn
Chapter 4 - Standing on a Heart
Chapter 5 - Crabbing
Chapter 6 - Field Test
Chapter 7 - Exxon Summer
Part 2 - Guiding Days
Chapter 8 -Searching within the Archipelago
Chapter 9 -The Hard Way Home
Chapter 10 - Something in the Bones
Chapter 11 - Porcupine Pass
Chapter 12 - Trespass
Chapter 13 - Ruse of Rocks
Chapter 14 - Almost Too Legal
Chapter 15 - Tracks on the Pingston
Chapter 16 - A Face in the Fog
Chapter 17 - Fines and Fine Lines
Part 3 - Settled In
Chapter 18 - Getting There
Chapter 19 - Return
Chapter 20 - The Wake
Chapter 21 - September Shadows
Chapter 22 - Of Wood and Warmth
Chapter 23 - Salvage