North America | United States of America (USA) | Alaska – rapping it up in Anchorage

North America | United States of America (USA) | Alaska – rapping it up in Anchorage

Well….I am pleased to say that this will be my last entry for this trip…pleased? you may think…yes, very…Alaska treated me quite well as Im sure you’ve read, but I am also ready to be home and settled….9 weeks of constant travel takes a toll on me! This is an exciting entry….the past week we spent in Denali National Park as i previously mentioned…it was beautiful! the park though is quite crazy…kind of like a circus…and i felt as though the park itself was rather like a zoo with safari type busses that drive into the park with tourists snapping photos of the wildlife on the side of the road….but none the less it was a beautiful place. this time of year the weather is normally awful, but we were soo lucky and had sunshine the whole week we were there!! the first 2 days the whole group (minus the prof) hiked in and set up camp about 4 miles in or so in a valley. on our second day in Molly and I went on a seperate day hike (to try and get some space from the group) and hiked to the top of this mountian where we could look up the valley and see the glaciers at the end of it! as we passed over the peak we spotted several lakes on the side of the river….it was soo hot so we headed down the arm of the mt to take a dip…I thought it might be a good idea to glass the area becuase lakes tend to be favorite places of wildlife and sure enough there was a caribou (harmless) and then i noticed a tiny dot swimming back and forth in one of the lakes…by the way it was swimming i guessed it was a beaver and sure enough as we got closer the whole lake system was made up of various beaver dams…so cool..they formed the terrace type lakes some higher than others, only divided by sticks and the beavers handy work… molly said we should be careful because beaver are quite dangerous…i laughed but she told me that every summer near her summer cabin a kid dies from a beaver attack, pretty crazy!!! so we found a lake without a beaver dam stripped and jumped in…what a relief!!! the water was relatively warm as compared to the glacial streams we were used to! and it was nice to be able to be fully submerged in the water! That hike we saw several animals….a huge moose barreling down the opposite hill…another on the top of a ridge and another caribou….that night i was woken up by the sound of hooves running through our camp and then splashing in the river ( i assume it was a moose running through our camp and throough the river to the other side…pretty cool!)….that night we hiked out closer to the main campsite so we could make it out early the next morning…right as we set up camp we saw a moose about 40 ft away from us just chilling and we watched it as we set up camp….pretty spectacular!!!! then the next morning we woke up at 630 am so we could resupply and head back out…molly and i split up from the group for the last 3 days and my friend steve whom i met in New Zealand who is working in Denali this summer joined us….we hiked into this area with alot of small lakes which were beautiful and soo necessary because it was soo hot! the first lake we stopped at had a huge beaver dam…we spotted the beaver up close and cautiously watched it as it swam closer to us on the shore..it kept swimming back and forth closeer and closer to us…and it kept splashing its tail rather threateningly…so much so that we decided to move on to the next lake….where we scanned for beaver and then dove in..we kept hiking for a while, but molly and i were both so tired from waking up so early so we didnt hike for more than about 3 hours more. we set up and on the hill with a lake in the middle..it was quite beautiful! we also had the most amazing view of Denali….(we were soo lukcy we saw the mountain all 3 days in there!!! soo rare!!) but the mountian is magnificent!! It is 20,000 feet and as the sun sets it gets this alpin glow…so beautiful..(it is starting to actually get dark around midnight!) so we set up camp and just hungout, went swimming, played card etc…the next day steve went on a 30 min hike which ended up taking about 7 hours…kinda scared us…we had an incedient too…i dont know if i have enough time to describe it right now….so i will write more when i get back to the hostel (right now im at the library) …..so my time was extended……heres the crazy story….molly and i were eating lunch around the lake just talking and all of a sudden i looked up and there was this bear standing about 10 ft away from us…i jumped up saying ‘holy shit…hey bear’ and waving my arms …molly turned and did the same!!! it was soo close…it looked at us sniffed the air…disapeared into the bushes…i thought it would be a good idea to keep an eye on it, so we grabbed all our food and headed up the little hill to where our camp was and where we could keep an eye on it….it sniffed the air again and then proceeded to go swimming in the lake…it was awesome it was in there for about 10 minuted splashing around soo cool…we were so close the whole time…we realized though that we shouldnt have our food with us so i walked away from our camp and put our food int he bushes crossing my fingers that it wouldnt smell it and come eat it….after it splashed around is exited the lake and went and messed with our bear containers which old our food in it so the bear cant eat it! it realized that it couldnt get the food in it so it left….we were so lucky that the wind was blowing in the right direction and the bear didnt get a wiff of our food out of the bear container….which was also uncomfortably close to our campsite (bad move on our part)…we watched it disapear over the next hill…molly stood guard and i ran and got the food and quickly put it in the canisters and then went back to join molly still rather shaky about the whole experience…..in loooking back on it it was scary at the time, but soo cool and nothing bad happened…..pretty exciting for our last backpack…!!!!! what a story!!!so that night molly and i stayed up hoping steve would come back so we could move camp because that is what youre supposed to do if you have a bear encounter, but he didnt and we ended up passing out…the next morning when we awoke he was there so that was a relief!! we decided to hike out that day becuase of the incident the day before and we followed park protocol….we hiked to the road and waited for the bus to pickus up…it came and we spent the next 6 or 7 hours on this bus to get to the park entrance (it is about 80 miles on a dirt road to get to where we were and then it also stops at all the wildlife so the tourists can take photos) i got some really good shots of a cow (moose) and two calves in the water…we finally got back to the campsite where our prof was and set up camp…however our prof wasnt there ….we were quite hungry but didnt have any food or money…we hitchhiked into town to see if he was there so we could get our wallets, but he wasnt…so we walked back to the campsite and went to bed…the next morning we got money and walked into town and hungout at the coffe shop there for most of the day working on our final projects…those letters to congress…we finally finished them and headed back where we began the sorting process through all our stuff….the others arrived and we all went out for a final dinner of pizza….we had a group circle where we had one last run through of how we felt about the trip and exchanged our presents wed made for our secret person..i had dan and i made him a peace sign dream catcher out of balsam poplar sticks and put some Dalls sheep hair and a feather id found on the ground…i was pretty pleased with it and i think he really liked it as well because he was always talking about his dreams….but it was soo bizzar to have one final check in session….weird that it was all coming to an end….molly and i purchased a bottle of wine and drank that, hoping that we wouldnt go to sleep because we had to wake up at 4 am to leave to drive to anchorage the next morning…but wine makes me tired….most of my stuff was packed up so molly and i curled up with dan and the 3 of us shared two sleeping bags (for about 3 hours) and then woke up, piled into the car and drove to anchorage where everyone was dropped off at various locations…dan and i were droipped off at the hostel becuase his flight wasnt until 11pm that night….so we hungout and killed time. we went to this place thats a theater and resturant…you order somehting and then they bring it to you while you are watching the movie…pretty genius!! we saw hitchhikers guide to the galaxy…quite strange..ive read the book, but the movie…i was surprsied when i heard they made a movie about it….Dan finally left and i went to sleep…today i rented a bike and went into downtown anchorage and rode along the coast and now here i am….wow talk about a play-by-play!!! i leave here tomorrow night around 10pm…to be honest i dont know exactly what i am going to do tomorrow…oh well…well for all of you in AB i cant wait to see you!!! ahhh i cant believe 9 weeks passed this quickly!!! i swear, 9 weeks in SC passes so much slower than this..but maybe it is becuase here we were always on the move…. But alaska is amazing…overall i am soo impressed….it is soo vast and as annoying as driving everywhere was, it made you really realize how huge this place is…and when looking at a map, i realized that we really didnt see alot of alaska!! AS molly and i were looking at Denali we were marveling at its beauty and how lukcy we were to see it soo plainly for so long…..how many people get to go to denali? and then to think that even less of those people that go to denali actually get to see the mountain as well as we did? i thought it epitomized our trip because well…how many people get to come up to alaska for 9 weeks?> and then even less of those that do come get to see all that we’ve seen…..but ya i guess that about raps it up for this chapter of my life! how exciting!!! until the next adventure, much love peace and pura vida

Category : North America | United States of America (USA) | Alaska , Uncategorized