Saturday, April 5, 2014

Alaska: Glen Alps and the last hike



Drove up to Glen Alps, just below Flattop Mtn. again.  This is where I found a bear in the parking lot a week or so ago.

No bear today. I know because I checked very carefully before getting out of the car.

I ended up hiking up the South Fork of Campbell Creek all the way to Power Line Pass where the power line angles off to the right and drops down to Turnagain Arm at Indian.  It was a 12-14 mile round trip through an alpine valley between steep peaks.

It was pretty awesome to stand up there in the pass and look down into the valley on the other side, but I wasn’t tempted to go down for a closer look, that first step was a doozy of a drop and I still had to get all the way back to the car!

Other than the wind whipping through the power lines, it’s mighty quiet up there, interrupted once by the sound of a rock falling off of a peak on the other side of the pass and sliding down the talus slope.

I also saw several marmots, a covey of ptarmigan, a half dozen Dall Sheep and way over on the other side of the valley, a wolf hoofing it along to wherever wolves hoof it to.  Good place for a hike!

And by the way, I still contend that the most dangerous animal in Alaska is the ptarmigan, Alaska’s version of a grouse. These damn things are a perfectly camouflaged mottled brown in the summer and pure white in the winter and a group of them will crouch down in the trail, snickering I’m sure, only to explode from right beneath your feet and give you a heart attack!

It was a melancholy day despite the great hike. Tomorrow we load the last of the computer room into a truck, the rental furniture will be picked up from the house, I'll turn the keys over to the management company, and I leave for home the day after that.
This trip has been way too short and I didn’t get to do half the things I wanted to.  There's all those trails down on Kenai Peninsula, Johnson Pass, Moose Pass, Ptarmigan Creek, Lost Lake, Resurrection Pass. that I didn't get to hike this trip. I never made it up to Portage Glacier or through the tunnel to the strange little town of Whittier.  I didn't drive up the Glen highway towards Thompson Pass and Valdez past Gunsight Mountain to eat a burger at the Eureka Roadhouse. I didn't drive up the George Parks Highway and take the spur into Talkeetna. All things I've done at least once before and would have liked to do again.

Even so, I don’t know what I did to deserve the opportunity to spend so much time up here over the years and I leave with lots of memories and stories.

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