Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Best Alaskan Hike Ever!

Kesugi  Ridge Hike in Denali State Park.  Just a mere 2 1/2 hours from my home in Palmer. 
Starting out on a hot day in Alaska at 3:12 pm.  We spent the afternoon visiting the quaint little village of Talkeetna. 
 Carrying all of our food, lodging, etc the first day should of been the hardest.  However, the trail is laid out so smoothly with great switchbacks, it seemed easier than Lazy Mt.
 Goodby trees.  We take our break at the start of the alpine ridge.  Another group of day hikers came just to below where we stopped (ate dinner) and returned for the night.  We were just about 1 hour or so until our camp for the night.
 The Whipples (Diana and Ben) are joining us for the adventure.  I just love the sheet of rain in the background.  It never crossed the ridge that night.
The second morning, we needed to cross a boulder section that Willow was a bit unsure of, but she made it.  She didn't like hearing the rushing water underneath.
Willow would run ahead, chase pika and enjoy the open tundra at least on the first and second day.
One of my favorite times, knitting and listening to Sherlock Holms read by Ben and James.  We had a 2 hour lunch break.  We finally got a glimpse of Denali just durning our time sitting.
lots of little streams to cross

Most of the trails for the first 2 1/2 days was this big open expanse.  You could see for miles and miles.

Getting close to the end of day 2, we found a little lake to camp by after we hiked around the bedroom sized boulders!
Then, she appeared.  Denali is just towering over the other mountain range.  It was our first top showing of her face. Yes it is 11:22 pm.
If you can see, there is a think morning fog.  We couldn't see 1 meter out of our tent in the morning. But, the sun dried it all away and left us with the clearest shot of Denali before we started hiking on Day Three!

It was fun crossing the snow patches and seeing our little mountain to guide us during the morning hike.

We had some dips into a valley crossing a river then back up again.  Still breathtaking!

Watch out Road Runner!

First slide of the hike!
interesting Rock Formations
Enormous trees had been blown over in a terrible wind storm.  It looked like a giant just toppled them over.  It made this section after lunch the hardest.  The ground was swampy so, the boards to walk on was ruined because of so many overthrown trees.  Carrying the backpacks made it extra challenging leaping over the trunks if they didn't have branches.  Oh, I haven't mentioned but it is about 80degrees and Sunny.
After loosing my camera, we made it out of the trees fallen forest.  I also had to pull Willow out of a swampy black pond that wanted to take her and gobble her up.  Thankfully, her pack has a handle and I was able to pull her out.
The silent camp as most were tired and wanting to sleep.
Highest point of the trip, day 4.  Only down from here.

Trying to cool off (did I mention we only hiked in SUN!), I PUT SNOW into my handkerchief and wrapped it around my neck.
We ran out of sunscreen! So we hid from the lunch sun while the boys got us some fresh cold water.
Intersection of the trail heading out of the alpine tundra and into the forest on the way to that lake down to the left called Byers Lake.
See the difference
Cool waterfall we soaked our heads in.
Nice suspension bridge, almost there!

Samatha was waiting for us, for the nice ride to Fairbanks where Diana and I ran a 10k the next day in memory of her brother.  The worse part was the mosquitos during the last hour of the hike into Byers.  They were so thick we were eating them.

James' photos

First night home

2 hour lunch & fresh coffee

Willow on day 3 and 4 didn't chase after too many things and laid down when we stopped.  I am sure she was thinking, when are we getting home?  She loved the tent and was the first to go to sleep at night.  Praise God she didn't aggravate James' asthma.  

our faithful stove on morning day 3

I love kissing Him! 
At the end of the hike, I tried to summarize my walk with the Lord.  We spent some of the mornings reading scripture together, some times journalling, but the continual majesty that was displayed around us made me believe I was delighting in Him constantly.  I loved how Denali just TOWERED over all the other mountains and made it stand out like,"I am God and there is no one like ME!"  I do have an all-powerful and creator God!  Love HIM!