What the heck is that thing?
The mysterious door
Skagway is full of strange things that were discarded long ago. Skagway has gone through some very different eras – from the Gold Rush through World War II and into the modern day. However, one thing has always remained the same… People like to toss their broken crap into the woods. When you’re hiking along the trail and stumble upon one of these mysteries of the past, you can’t help but say…
“What the heck is that thing?”
A mysterious door in a hidden place. Seems odd.
Two miles north of Skagway, alongside the railroad tracks, is a pretty little creek that tumbles down the mountainside. You can pass this spot 1,000 times and never realize that something strange lies about 200 feet above the trail, on a narrow ledge just south of the creek.
Stranger still, there is no evidence of a trail leading to this ridge. Thick devil’s club makes climbing the hill unattractive, so few have ever stumbled upon this unique oddity. But when winter cold causes water to freeze, it’s possible to climb the slope by wearing crampons and treading upon the icy creek.
Some things are better left unknown
It was a cold winter’s day, and I had the strange urge to climb the icy falls. Was it curiosity? What was I looking for? These are questions impossible to answer, but without such a primal drive I would never have been able to tell this curious tale.
I strapped the crampons to my boots and began the ascent. Water gurgled beneath the ice as I carefully planned each step to ensure I wouldn’t fall. The creek narrowed to a spot where fallen branches partially blocked the way. After climbing over the obstacle something came into view.
“What the heck is that thing?” I asked no one in particular. What I saw was a wide ledge where something odd was sitting. It was black and coiled and seemed ready to strike. I placed my hand on my knife as I drew closer.
It turned out that it was some old wire that some litterer just tossed in the woods.
Then everything suddenly changed for the worse
It was then I noticed something else. Something terrifying. About 30 feet away was a door. It was hinged and covering what appeared to be a cave carved from the very granite of the mountainside. But why? Who built it? And what was inside?
Again I said, “What the heck is that thing?” and inched my way closer. My heart was racing. So was my mind as I contemplated what horrible bloodthirsty creature might be lying in wait to tear me limb from limb. A gnome seemed most likely because the door was small. Maybe it was the dreaded half-bear half-man.
There was only one way to find out.
I ain’t ‘fraid of no gnome.
It was then I reached for the door. A bead of sweat rolled down my back and sent a shiver back up my spine. I could feel goosebumps on my neck. Grasping the door with my hand, I began to pull. The door creaked a horrifying moan not unlike the death rattle of a doomed man, and that’s when I saw