Monday, September 2, 2013

Annual Labor Day Kesugi Ridge trip

I had planned to spend the long weekend hiking the Kesugi Ridge Trail with the Fairbanks Area Hiking Club. However, since it rained for the first 24 hours with no prospect of clearing up, and none of us wanted to spend a second night on the trail with wet gear, we opted out the second day, at the Ermine Hill trailhead. Fine by me. After that decision was made, I ate two dinners and two breakfasts, and changed into a whole other set of nice warm, dry clothes! This is what's great about casual hikers. We have no time or fitness goals, so zero of us would want to finish a hike under poor, uncomfortable, or unsafe conditions. We gather for fun, and if the fun's gone, then so are we!


Pep talk at the start:

I'm not trying to be artistic with this photo. I'm just really bad at taking photos with that arm-reachy technique. I usually take pictures of the sky, or my own arm.

Group shot, courtesy of KH:


That first ascent is brutal. But it's beautiful, isn't it? This is really one of the loveliest pieces of scenery in Alaska, even when clouds block most of it.

This is J. This rock field traversal is my least favorite part:

Dowgs resting:

Shortly after this shot was taken, the rain began to fall more heavily, so we decided to camp early, get warm, and hike out the next day. It's really easy to find nice places to camp in that region, since the tundra plants are nice and soft to sleep on, and water is plentiful:

The rain let up just long enough for us to cook and eat supper:

While a scary wolf watched us!

And approached!


This is P and her dog Jack:

When I woke up in the morning, the girls were being very cuddly, so I tried to take another arm-reachy photo. It was lousy, per usual:

On the way home, we stopped for our traditional pizza at Panorama Pizza. When I got home, I made myself a huge cup of tea, lit a fire in the wood stove, and hung out my gear to dry. Autumn and Linden collapsed onto the floor. An hour later when I let them out for our daily final-pee-before-bed, they darted up the driveway, all ready for that evening walk! I told them, thanks, but no thanks, could we maybe pass tonight? Seeing as we had already walked 16 miles? They sighed and complied.

And this, my friends, is how you know it is time to retire a pair of rain pants. When the inside looks like this, I think they have too many holes!

Autumn and Linden are pooped today!


Vanessa said...

Love curled up furry doggies!

mdr said...

Hope you didn't catch a cold and had a good time.