Birds: 3 Rory:0

Hike 17/52. this time, we took off towards Matanuska Peak. I had never been on this trail and I tend to stay away from “The Valley” as I don’t like meth or replacing car windows. For Obi’s happiness, I decided to risk it.

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 8.54.38 AM.pngIt is a steep hike in the typical Alaska fashion and covers 5,670 feet of elevation gain in 4 miles. When you turn around, the views keep getting better though.Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 8.54.53 AM.pngEventually, we could see Matanuska Peak.Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 8.55.16 AM.png

I can never quite capture the beauty in a picture. Our hike was slowed by me turning around and “oohing” and “aahhhing” to the dogs every few minutes.

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We saw one grouse on our return to the car. It flew far away very quickly. At least we saw one.

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Obi seemed to have a good time and that is all that matters.Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 8.55.34 AM.png

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Winner Creek, Girdwood, AK.

Hike 8/52 was one that we had done before. Based at the fancy Alyeska Resort there is no shortage of places to stop and warm up before or after hiking in Girdwood.screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-7-31-14-pm

We set off on our short hike after brunch at The Bake Shop. We drove one car to the the end of the trail and started from the far end of the trail. Our plan was foiled when we found out that the hand tram was no longer operating for the winter. There was hardly any snow, so we sighed and muttered, but continued on.

We had to stop and build a snowman as it was still early in the season and we haven’t had a lot of snow, yet.

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The Winner Creek and the snowman.screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-7-33-53-pmDeciding how to cross when the tram is closed.screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-7-30-43-pmWe somehow still had a lot of fun and wore ourselves out.screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-7-31-01-pmWhen we got home, this happened. I would call it a success.

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Hiking Eagle and Symphony Lakes.

Hike 7/52 for the 52 hike challenge. This is a popular trail and quite an easy hike. Most of the mild uphill is in the beginning.screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-8-39-39-am

Eventually, you make it into the valley below. The creeks that drain out of the lakes are two different colors.screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-8-42-14-amI am still addicted to panoramic photos.screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-8-40-38-amThe further into the valley you walk, the more boulders begin to appear.screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-8-41-03-amEventually arriving at the lakes, you can see why the two creeks are different colors.screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-8-41-17-amOne lake (Eagle) is the turquoise color of the glacial silt. The other (Symphony) is snow melt and precipitation. They are separated by a narrow ridge. It is a beautiful hike near Anchorage.screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-8-41-33-amThe creek crossings were easier for some of us.screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-8-42-48-am

Hike 1/52 – Hidden Lake.

Starting off this hiking thing. Trying to nail 52 hikes in a year. There are so many hikes near us that I wanted to find a way to keep track of all of them. For Hidden Lake we started at the Glen Alps Trailhead. It was a Sunday and the parking lot had the most people we have ever seen. It was about half full. We left the parking lot at about 1 pm. There was a mixture of snow and mud for most of the trail along the powerline. It was also the busiest here. It was relatively uneventful. We have hiked and ran along the powerline trail a few times. It is the busiest hiking area close to Anchorage. Sometimes there are moose hanging out, but the sheer number of dogs and people usually makes them a bit skittish. About 2 miles into the hike, we veered left. Crossing over the south fork of Campbell Creek, we stopped for our first photo. Lando loved looking in the snow. Obi was off chasing birds.Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.32.10 PM.pngThe lower elevations did not have as much snow. The south facing slopes were pretty snow free. There are fantastic boardwalks on the popular trails that help mitigate damage to flora. It also helps keep us a little less muddy.

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As we increased in elevation, the snow became a bit more prevalent. Being Alaska, one we left the parking lot, there were no signs. I feel like every trail in the lower 48 has  at least a half dozen signs. Here, not so much. Maybe that is why this place is called Hidden Lake. There was worn in trail which made it easier to head the correct direction.

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This is a warm spring. There is no snow at our house, but this trail starts at about 2200′ above sea level. Once we got off the busy Powerline Trail, the ptarmigan were everywhere. The dogs loved it. Here is Obi pointing to a well hidden ptarmigan in a tree while Lando looks for something hidden in the snow. Can’t see Obi?Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.23.54 PM.pngLet me zoom in for you. Does this make it easier?Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.24.25 PM.pngEventually, there was lots of snow and the occasional postholing. Sometimes lots of postholing. The weather stayed nice and a sunburn at the end of the day was mildly surprising.Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.43.38 PM.pngAbout 4 1/2 miles in, we made it to Hidden Lake. It looks like it will remain hidden a little while longer. We ended at about 3700′ above sea level.Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.44.32 PM.pngIt is an interesting time of year. Too much snow down low to ride bicycles on the trail, but not quite enough snow to make it worth dragging skis up to the top. It is also nice enough to hike without snowshoes and only deal with a bit of mud and wet ankles at the end of the day. We were lucky enough to see some mountain goats as we ate our lunch at the lake. This place is amazing. Until the next adventure!