Saturday, July 7, 2007

ALaska 2007 #2

A Little From Alaska:

Hi again,

well, i've got 45 minutes before my ride shows up here, so i thought i'd do some email. Since i last wrote, i've done a lot...

SHORT VERSION: lots of animals, beauty, and enjoyableness.

LONG VERSION: I met clay in Denali National Park, kinda in the middle of the state, and we prepared for our backpacking trip there. we spent the first night in the campground in the front of the park, but left for the backcountry the next morning. a bus dropped us off on a river in the middle of the park, and we were to begin our journey through rocky riverbed, spongy meadows, glacial moraine (loose rock covered glacier), steep creekbed, ice rivers, and steeper mountain passes... all littered with wildlife. we spent 4 days out there, and hiking without any trails is a much different experience than i am used to... the terrain isn't always what you expect from what you read on the topo map. one day, we hiked about 4.5 miles in 9 hours... the going was slow to say the least. the scenery was beautiful though, so it was nice that we had so much time to enjoy it, and the 6 grizzly bears, 20 or so dall sheep, 1 wolverine, 6 caribou, 1,000,000 ground squirrels, 1 red fox, and some birds too. i thought the wolverine was a badger at first, but when we got out the ranger corrected us. anyways, the pictures do more justice than my words, so i'll shut up and just let you wait for those.

along the trip in denali, we saw nobody else, my feet got shredded, we camped on a glacier, we camped on sheep poo, we camped on a beautiful bed of wildflowers, we played frisbee where nobody has before, did some extreme rock skiing in my boots, and i got ultra scared on a mountain ridge NARROWER THAN MY FOOT with one corniced edge, and the other was about 75 degrees. luckily, my rain pants work both ways, and clay couldn't tell if i had wet my pants or not. i highly reccomend it there.

after that, we had a throw away day in anchorage, and headed back to that town of homer that i started in cause i liked it so much, and cause clay hadn't been yet. there, we went fishing again, and hiked around some, and hung out with lance and his pals... it was nice to take it a little slower for a little bit. one day, my friend lance had a bbq at his place with the fresh salmon we'd caught that day, and it was the best fish i'd ever had... almost enough to make me wanna move here so i could catch dinner everyday.

after 3 days there, it was time for clay to leave and for me to go toward juneau. i had kind of a messed up time getting to where i needed to go, but it consisted of me getting dropped off in the wilderness at 2:30 AM in a rainstorm after being in the car for like 12 hours, setting up my tent for the night, then waking up the next day and trying to hitchhike to the sort of nearby town of whittier. some old irish guy picked me up cause he really liked talking, and i think he felt bad that i was walking in the rain. he told me about how much fun he used to have doing construction and drinking all over the state, so i have to go to some bar in juneau and tell his friend neil hi.

i made it to the ferry with an hour to spare, and took a sweet boat across the prince william sound to the town of valdez (think exxon valdez oil spill), and i saw the terminus of the trans-alaskan pipeline. i just kinda walked around a bit... it was a cool town.

in the morning, i packed up again to ferry to the fishing town of cordova. yesterday, i went kayaking in the ocean and saw about 100 sea otters, who became very curious as to what i was... it was like having 100 little puppies staring at me from 20 to 100 feet away, it was a pretty unique experience. after about an hour or so of that, i headed closer to the shore cause there was a lot of splashing around, and i watched salmon jumping out of the water for a while... it made me excited to go eat some of them.

anyways, this is long enough... tonight, i'm ending my solo time and meeting jonelle and ben in juneau for a few days, then we're meeting my dad somewhere else to go fishing for a week. dirty.
i'll see some of you in seattle, others of you in la after that, and hopefully even others in santa cruz after THAT.


-PS: frisbee players: i saw luke from monster on the bus in denali, it was pretty random.

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