Aug 15, 2007

TUNDRA TANG

A couple of weekends ago, Rebecca and I hiked the Pinnell Mountain Trail , a 27.5-mile trail that goes from Eagle Summit to Twelvemile Summit out on the Steese Highway. The entire trail is above treeline, which makes for fantastic views of the White Mountains and the Crazy Mountains, and on a clear day, the Alaska Range. Our first day was pretty clear, and nice enough that we could sit down for lunch. A few miles in, we stumbled upon these giant bags filled with gravel, i thought it looked like a scene from x-files.The first night the wind started to howl and the rain started to come down... and it didn't stop for the next two days. Day 2 & 3 views were mostly of the dense fog, although it would lift occassionally to unveil a cliff or valley:
Thankfully there are two cabins along the trail (about 1/3 and 2/3 along the way) - built by the youth conservation corps and blm in the 70s - so we could cook in peace and dryness.A key to our survival was Rebecca's delicious hot drink creation we dubbed Tundra Tang.
STEP 1: carefully measure out the whiskey (we tried rum, but whiskey was better): STEP 2: add hot water:
STEP 3: add Tang, being careful not to add too much (as it masks the alcohol flavor):
YUM!
one of the coolest things along the trail were these solifluction lobes, which result from surface melt that can't permeate through the permafrost, and flows downslope:

this trail is largely overlooked by my hardcore friends (except reba, obviously). marked trails are sortof considered "wussy" I guess? but this hike is BEAUTIFUL and easily accessible, and could be done in a 2-day weekend. I would highly recommend it to both locals and visitors. thanks, reba, for getting me out there!

Aug 7, 2007

Denali Highway mini Reunion

Mike & I and Christina & Ryan drove down to Cantwell to meet up with Amanda who was coming from Anchorage. We turned onto the Denali Hwy, and this was the view that greeted us:

We really missed Evan, who backed out at the last minute due to Thesis, Dayton and Hannah, who were always instigating such trips, and Sebastien, who is very busy traveling in the Americas. Bike helmets are hot:
A rare moment of Christina pedaling up the hill:
Amanda predicted I'd win a lot of awards with this shot:
found some dead moths floating in greasy water under the tracks in Cantwell:


The Denali Highway is just beautiful!! As is fireweed: