I'm hijacking my blog to do a post partly for family members who aren't on facebook! On Memorial Day, my husband, youngest daughter and I decided we needed something fun to do the day after the other two kids left for camp for the summer. We went for a drive to Denali Park, to get coffee and go for a 'short' hike :-) We also dropped off some of my quilted cards at a shop there that sells them.
We planned our hike, but then the mountain was out, which is rare in the summer, so we decided instead to climb partway up a steep rocky trail to get some pictures. It is very steep, so I didn't think I would get far at all, and then we planned to do a flatter hike after that. We started up, and I did have to stop a LOT and rest, but right away I could see that I was getting farther than I thought. So I just kept resting and going a bit farther, until we realized we had gotten farther up that trail than ever before! We kept going and going, and after about an hour or so, we were at the highest of the series of rock piles. I couldn't even believe it. The first picture below shows what it looks like from the start of the trail. I will post a picture at the end that shows what it really looks like! This only shows the first two of a series of rock piles. In the second picture, I tried to show how narrow the trail was in some places. It dropped off on both sides and was very windy!
At that point we started asking other hikers what they knew about the rest of the trail, because we knew it kept going and came out somewhere else. They said it went a little higher, around a 'bowl' in the mountains, and we could see part of the trail from where we were. Then it went down a little more gradually, and was supposed to be about 4 miles in all. (Ending a few miles from where we parked, but we knew we might be able to catch a ride on a park bus.) We decided to give it a try, partly because going back down the way we came up was not going to be easy either!
After the rock piles the incline got less steep, but still went up another several hundred feet over the next mile, about 1400 feet elevation change in all, from 2600 to 4000. We had that spectacular view most of the trip!
Almost at the top, still smiling :-)
We saw too many ground squirrels to count. This one was very curious, he kept coming closer and looking like he really wanted to say something! At the highest point, Britta climbed down to a snowpile. She wanted to slide down it, but decided it wasn't worth the extra 100 feet of climbing to get back up! (It looks flat in the photo, but was quite steep.) Then we finally started to go down the back side. Even that had switchbacks at first, but not as steep as the trip up.
Lots of cool steps!
and lots of wildflowers, even at the very top.
Getting closer, then finally after 4.5 miles, the road! Which is still 2.5 miles from our car.... We decided to continue the adventure and walk instead of catching a bus. I bailed for the last mile and found a sunny patch to wait for them to come and get me! Six miles total for me, and seven for them, starting with a 1400 foot climb!
Thankfully we didn't see any bears! One large brown blob turned out to be a caribou. The second picture is looking back at where we had been! We started at the bottom of a valley to the left of the photo, and pretty much crossed that entire ridge, down the other side, then walked back around the bottom.
The picture below is an older photo of the same area from across the next valley, so you can see more of it. The number 1 is about the highest we had made it in the past, the number 2 is the highest point, about 2 miles in, and took about 2 hours to get to. The last 5 miles took two more hours. When we were driving out, we saw the same cow and twin baby moose we had seen on the way in, but got some better pictures the second time, so fun! We took more than 600 photos between the three of us, it was pretty hard to narrow it down!
Next time, back to quilting!
Beret Nelson's On The Trail Creations Blog Page
I am a homeschooling mom of three fun kids, who are now old enough that I have a little time to pursue my passion for sewing! After several years of making quilted cards and art quilts, I'm now designing kits and patterns. Some of them have even been in Keepsake Quilting! I teach classes at local quilt shops, and would love to do more traveling and teaching eventually. I also have many tutorials, including some on you tube. I am blessed to live in Alaska where I am surrounded by the inspiration provided by the beauty of God's creation!
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