The past 15 days in Alaska have been some of my favorite memories. Each day was jam-packed with hiking, huts, kayaking, and tons of exploring. Our first trip was up into Crow Pass outside of Girdwood. We hiked 3.5 miles up into the pass and the 11 of us piled into a cabin by a glacial lake. But of course we had to keep exploring and ventured up another mile to a glacier. It happened to be Pride and we all were wearing the appropriate colors so we got in the flag order and snapped a few photos on the glacier (you can see one of those photos below). Since it was such a glacial Pride this year, we felt that this was a pretty appropriate way to celebrate. Later in the night (yes, night) around 10:30pm in the land of the midnight sun, several of us went to gaze upon Crow Glacier. Then I got the itch to approach and was in total awe of the dangerous ice.
The next morning we hiked out early to catch a ferry in Seward. We slept the 2 hours on the drive there and hopped on the ferry at Miller's Landing with four new additions to our crew. We headed for Caines Head on Resurrection Bay just as the rain began. We were dropped on the beach where the deck hand wished us luck and told us, "See you on the news!" before disappearing across the bay. The beach was a kid's dream! Covered in hundreds of flat, shiny, rocks! We immediately fell to skipping stones across the smooth surface of the ocean. Stomachs grumbling, we headed to the old naval base to take in the view of the bay and devour an entire picnic table of food. As we trooped back towards Seward along the beach, we watched the weather roll in and out, chatting and getting to know each other better.
After the 13 mile trek we decided that our next day would be one of relaxation. But the morning came and all of us escaped outside where we promptly rented kayaks and paddled 5 miles around the bay. We even skipped up to a waterfall for another group photo.
The rest of the days blurred together with hiking, playing games, BBQs, and, of course, the wedding of two great friends. The last week in Alaska was spent recovering and relaxing. Of course that included more hiking. By the end of the week, I got that itch to get out and so Austin and I headed into Hatchers Pass to hike up to the Snowbird Hut. The trail was steep and almost nonexistent but the scenery was breathtaking. At the top of the pass, we headed over one last snow field before hiking a mile along a glacier. It was eery, beautiful, and reminded me of low tide at the beach. Small "tide pools" dotted the surface and the sound of trickling water filled the ears. We made it to the hut just as the fog was rolling out and the whole valley opened up to us. We could clearly see the nunatak and entire expanse of the glacier out of the hut windows and cozied up in the warm hut for the evening.
The hike out was completely socked in with fog and we got off the "trail" several times, sending us through massive boulder fields. We reached the bottom just as the sun broke through, warming us on our walk back to the car.