Monday, May 19, 2014

Marathon Hikes

Good friends and adventure!

Justin and I have been friends nearly 20 years and have done a lot of hiking together in the past. I sent him a message last week suggesting we get together some evening before I leave town. He wrote back "I'm thinking of doing the Crow Pass hike, from Girdwood to Eagle River, possibly this weekend, doing it over night, you down?" I said, "sure, I've been wanting to do that hike" and just like the old days the hike was planned before either of us looked into the details. That was Wednesday, we left after work Friday and made the trailhead about 7pm. 

Looking down the Crow Creek valley.
Justin and his father-in-law Gerhard on the lower trail. 
First rest break
Crow Creek coming down from the pass/
We saw two bears. They were headed straight for our trail. Thankfully they decided they didn't like the look of us and took off over the mountain.  
Justin and Gerhard at the pass.
Heading down in the almost midnight sun.
We found a brand new looking sled in the pass so Justin had to try it out.
After 10 years a heavy use my old tent was looking a little tired. REI marked this one down 33% for their anniversary sale Friday so I went over at lunch to get it. It was impressively easy to set up the first time in the 11 pm twilight. I took this Saturday morning. 
A beautiful morning in the Chugach Mountains. 
Porcupine in a tree.
Crossing the Eagle River.This may be the coldest river I have ever crossed. I was happy this last branch was shallower than the first two.  
Most of the smaller creeks had log bridges over them. Some were a bit sketchy. The lower log is wedged into the near bank and the free end is supporting the upper log. It felt relatively solid though...  
26 miles and 24 hours later at the Eagle River Nature preserve.

I was thinking about it back at home and realized this is at least the sixth time in the past dozen years that various friends and I have hiked at least 26 miles in less than a day. Often these hikes are not planned very far in advance or trained for before hand. Still, we always end up with nice pictures and great memories to go with the sore muscles. It's good to have adventurous friends! 

Despite this being the first hike of the season, only my feet were sore this morning. I probably have my brother's workout plan to thank for that. I felt good enough this morning that I biked the 50 miles to Girdwood to pick up my truck. Those photos will have to wait for the next post. It's midnight and I still have work in the morning for two more weeks. 

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