Find Your Fortune on the Taylor Highway

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An evening on the Walker Fork looking for grayling. Wildfire smoke plagued the skies during our midsummer visit to the Taylor Highway, and while things constantly smelled like a woodstove, the sunset views were unforgettable. Photo by Emmie Jackson.

I’m kneeling at the edge of a stream and cradling gold in my fingertips. Here, deep in interior Alaska where legends of riches reign supreme, it’s possible—likely even—that some miner stooped in this exact spot and swirled their fortune from a gold pan over a 130 years ago. My gold isn’t quite like theirs, though it’s not completely unlike it, either. It’s just as precious, just as wild, and just

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