Wild Week Eight: Teen Hiking and Whitewater Rafting

The trail we hiked up to get to a camping spot this past week was pretty unique and, I think, my favorite trail that I’ve gone on to date. Alaska is officially ruining me for many other places geographically-speaking.

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We hiked Caines Head overlooking Resurrection Bay in Seward. The first part of the hike was right along the ocean, on North Beach, which was pretty cool, and could only be done during low-tide. We saw an otter on our way in. The rest of the hike was along Alpine Trail, which wound up the side of a mountain, emerging above tree-line with a cool view of Seward and the bay. We camped up there for the next three nights.

the hike along the beach
the hike along the beach
through the camping tent
through the camping tent

Tuesday was a blast–we hiked even farther up, to a saddle from where we could see the previous view on one side, and Bear Glacier, coming out of the Harding Ice Field, on the other.

Bear Glacier
Bear Glacier
overlooking Resurrection Bay
overlooking Resurrection Bay

That first glimpse of the glacier was literally breath-taking, and so worth every moo my calves made as we hiked up. While there, we enjoyed lunch, polar plunges into glacial waters still bordered by snow, and ski/skating/sledding down a steep, snow-covered slope. I ended up doing the last part of that last one mostly on my rear. It kinda hurt, but it was a rush.

about to glisade
about to glisade
an underwater shot of the icy pond we slid down a snowy bank into
an underwater shot of the icy pond we slid down a snowy bank into

We did have one camper slice her arm open on a rock (there was an abundance of either shale or slate rock–not sure which one’s which–up there) near the day’s end, however, and she ended up needing stitches, so once we got back to our base camp there was still quite a bit of hiking left in the night for three of our group members. They made it to Seward and back safely, however–one boat ride in a very small skiff and three stitches plus some internal ones later–so that was good. Wednesday ended up being a hang-out day: more snow-melt pond swimming and then some card games and such under a tarp with a great view of the Bay–it has these really cool islands which are really neat to look at, and you could see boats of various kind, tourist crafts and sailboats, etc., going by, which was also pretty cool. On Thursday we hiked back down and drove back to Base Camp. And on Friday we went white-water rafting. It was fun, but to be completely honest, also slightly anti-climatic. I guess I was expecting something that felt at least slightly more life-threatening…but I’m still really glad I got to go! It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and if I got a good chance to go again some other time, I would.

big splash
I’m in this raft 🙂

And now…rest. J Happy weekend, friends. More hiking for me in the next few weeks–hope you are enjoying your summer adventures/work, whatever that entails for you.

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