Anthony called today and said he wanted to go hiking. I like hiking, so I thought, why not?
I put on my flannel lined jeans, snow pants, two shirts, a coat, hat, gloves, face mask, wool socks and bunny boots. Then I threw some stuff in a bag, and Anthony and I drove out Aleknagik Road. Once we got out of town, we stopped at the foot of Snake Lake Mountain. There’s a road, aptly named Snake Lake Road, that goes up and around the mountain. It’s too snowed in to drive, but there’s a packed-down snowmachine trail all the way up.
I gotta say, I thought I was going to die just walking up the first hill. I was breathing hard and my legs hurt. After that, it leveled out a little and I got a second wind. Then I just needed a bit of a break every mile or so, and I did okay.
When you’re walking on a snowmachine trail, sometimes you only sink into the snow an inch or so, because it’s been packed down by the weight of the snowmachine. Other times, you’ll hit a soft patch and sink a foot or two into the snow. It’s really hard walking.
We walked about 4 miles up the road. It curves around the mountain and gives beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and the pine-tree studded flats. After a while, you come around a curve to a place where people apparently come to shoot. There’s a scooped out area with a backdrop where a lot of people shoot guns. I don’t know why they wouldn’t use the official range at the landfill, but whatever. After the shooting area, there’s a curve around the mountain some more to a beautiful overlook. There’s a rocky outcropping. From there, you can see the bay, as well as the Warehouse Mountain (and some other mountains). When Erin and Anthony hiked up here last month, they could see lots of moose, apparently. We didn’t see any today, but we saw lots of tracks.
Erin and Samara, by the way, dyed their hair, went for a drive out to Aleknagik Lake, and then made a wonderful dinner that Anthony and I ate when we got back.
I took some pictures, mostly while we were up at the outlook. Here’s Anthony standing on a pile of rocks.
Here he is sitting, wearing his ski mask. That thing dangling from his pack is a water bottle full of frozen water. Silly winter.
And now, the view from the rocks.
And this was Snake Lake Mountain, which was behind us.
This is how deep you sink into the snow if you step off the trail.
Versus on the trail.
Walking back involved a lot more downhill, which was good, but my ankle still started getting sore about halfway back. I think that slowed us down quite a bit, but Anthony was cool about it. My bunny boots, while warm and with good ice traction because of the screws in the bottom, I don’t think they provide enough ankle support. I probably need some better hiking boots. We still made it down before it got really dark–it was after sunset, but there was still plenty of light when we made it back to the Canyonero.
Of course, I had made the stupid mistake of parking too far over on the edge of the road. As soon as we tried to pull out, my right front tire dug in, and my left rear tire just spun. So much for four wheel drive. Thankfully, we were only stuck for about a minute before a guy in a big Chevy Suburban drove by and stopped. He pulled us out with my tow rope. Although I almost ran over Anthony and backed into the guy’s truck, we did manage to get pulled out. I really appreciated his help.
Then there was the aforementioned dinner–ciabatta roll sandwiches with avocado and tomato and curry soup.
It ended up being a much more exciting Sunday than I’d expected. I figured I’d sit around doing nothing, and instead I went on a 8 mile hike up a mountain.