Monday, June 9, 2014

Hike to Minerva Mountain in Ketchikan

 beautiful day in Ketchikan. it was just Bob, Tanya and i for the full day so my friend Anita joined us and we took advantage of a no schedule day and went for a long hike.  it was beautiful.  of course, they have changed the road to get to the trail head so that totally threw me off.  not sure why they did that but you now approach the trailhead from a totally different direction. i found my way there though.
 great to be able to spend time with Anita!!  i was excited as well to get Bob and Tanya into the rain forest.  it's just so amazing.  this trail has some huge old trees.
 everything is draped with moss.
 Bob was really excited about all the huge trees.  they barely have any root system at all.  these islands are like solid rock with less than a foot of "soil" in many places.
 you can see how shallow the roots are in this picture.
 we took our time and enjoyed the scenery and had many photo ops.
 i'm still slowly looking at the pictures.  i think in a way it extends the vacation.  i've already been back to work two nights.  both in the ER and both nights i was tired and sore by morning.  i was scheduled for a massage but the day got changed to next week.  my muscles are all still a bit tight.  i think both Bob and Sandra are feeling the back muscles as well.  i think i actually have a big knot in my right arse cheek..
 got our letter from the State of Alaska and so Walrus Advocates of Round Island Sanctuary is now officially recognized and incorporated.  now the list of stuff to do grows. we have to get licensed as a business, get our tax number and then get that 501(3)(c) filed for tax exempt status..then bank accounts, letterheads, logo, stickers, pamphlets...
 met with Katie last night at Ling and Louis for dinner after my swim to get her started on the articles of incorporation.  hoping to keep them simple and basic.  i think less complicated will be best, that is what i'm hearing from others who run non-profits.
 i think our trip to minerva and back was at least 8 miles.  the trail has changed a great deal since i last did it over 15 years ago.  the trail to perseverence lake used to be all steps and boardwalk and those are now almost all gone.  the actual trail to Minerva wasn't really that established.  you used to take a cut off trail from the lower part of Perseverence trail. it was only marked by little hunters ribbons and it was pretty rough and muddy.  i was in better shape 15 years ago obviously.  haha.
 now you hike up to Perseverence lake and then continue on up to Minerva.  that portion is now all boardwalk and steps...many steps.
 my calves were actually sore the rest of the week from those steps. i suspect i gave myself shin splints?
 always leaving artwork behind.
 we didn't see too many folks out there, but did see a few as we came back down.
 i hadn't brought real hiking boots on this trip.i  only brought my keens and xtra tuffs.  keens aren't really the best for an 8 mile walk.
 i do wish i had more time there to go hike every trail i'd been on while i lived there.  you always want to return to those favorite trails of the past.  there are some great trails there, just not enough time.
 Bob and i goof around with the moss
 again he demonstrates the size of these grand trees.
 the fires have calmed down up here.  they keep saying rain and i think we've gotten a few sprinkles here and there but not much.  i still have tons of newspapers to catch up on.
 the ferry "taku" was in Ketchikan in dry dock.  the "Tustemena" was there for an overhaul, happy the work can be done in state.  so i think the tusty is back out there. that boat was commissioned into the service the same year i was born.  it was made to accommadate a variety of docks and has a car elevator.  they are building a replacement for the ship but it will still be in service for a bit.  not sure what will happen to it when it does finally deserves respect though.  i've ridden the tusty out to Dutch Harbor...she took good care of us out in the Bering Sea.
 very frustrating that the current elected officials do not seem to see the value in our land in it's natural state.  remote and not well traveled is not a waste.  it's how many places should remain.  they want to turn McNeil River into a Brooks Falls with thousands of visitors each year.  if they aren't bringing in the big bucks then they have no value.  that is the case with Round Island.  it costs much more to maintain than the money the few travelers bring in.  our challenge will be to find a way to offset those costs eventually.  for now our challenge is just to educate and inform the public of this gems existence.
 we heard repeatedly in Ketchikan how the word is that none of the trails and cabins are to be maintained.  seems ridiculous when you have spend money to build things to just allow them to crumble. when things swing back around it will be that much harder to bring these things back in working order.  much cheaper to maintain than to rebuild in a few years.

 yes, i guess i'm a bit of a tree hugger...we should take pride in the gifts we've been granted.  that is the big picture.  sadly, mankind has a history of overindulgence.  trees great for wood, cut down every one you can find, whale oil good, kill every whale..moderation is a much better practice. if you protect the environment it will be there for you on a later date.  if you destroy just can't be replaced so easily
 nature thrives without us and eventually humans will lose and nature will rebound.
 great to have Chloe, Anita's pup, along with us.  she's such a cute puppy, so sweet!!
 she really did great on that long walk.
 we lunched at the lake.
 sunny and relaxing.
 apparently women in Japan are taking up hunting.  i think people across the globe in industrialized societies are yearning for a more basic life.  they want to know where their food is coming from and that it's safe.  of course, other women are still striving for some basic rights.  a woman in Saudi Arabia was recently punished with 150 lashings for driving a car...and 8 months of jail time. that was her sentence anyway.
 hard to get a picture but Tanya is under a huge tree.  the bottom of the tree was a big fort...they thought Maddie would love it.  Maddie came through Ketchikan on a cruise with her Grandparents.  we missed her by a few days but i guess Bob and Tanya set up a little scavenger hunt with local shops before they left and Maddie had fun cruising around the shops. i'll have to ask her more about that at her Birthday gathering this weekend.  she turns 11 i think.
 the trail heading up to Minerva has taken some damage from several trees being down...apparently, the damage won't be repaired...sad as this trail was built within the past 10 years probably.
 we found our way around the damaged bits
 sideways but my thinker pose.

 more trail damage
 we started to get some views from the top.  i think that is perseverence lake...we went up fast on those stairs.
 views into ward cove
 and back towards several lakes in the background.
 this last bit looked familiar...the old ribbons are still on the trees.
 these are all with the little camera. still working my way through the rebel shots.  so there will be some repeats later.  the steps just look cool going through the woods.

 going back was much quicker than up. i was happy that my knees held up.  it was just my calves that were sore after this hike.
 i'll be back to work for three tomorrow night.  then off only 2, then back for 3 more.  switched things around so that i could try to head to homer for a few days paddling at Tutka.  they got the yurt. summers are fast and much to pack in.  fun to look at facebook and see where everyone gets to over the summer.
 i'll just have little trips and hikes after this bigger trip.  it's already almost solstice though. boo hoo!!
 not a great photo but there are many banana slugs in Ketchikan...i always liked these striped ones. i screeched out with excitement when i saw him on the trail...i know, i'm strange.

 Chloe bids us farewell...
better get to that list of stuff to do...
thankful fors...1.  that the first step for WARIS is complete and we are baby steps closer to being able to help...Scott pointed out we can only help this place by existing.  2.  that there are so many nice folks out there who are willing to help out, not just with WARIS but while we were in Ketchikan everyone was nice and chatted..a good attitude is always appreciated.  3.  that my calves have stopped barking. had a long walk to cheney lake yesterday followed by a lovely swim.


  1. Love those photos! Congrats on incorporation and have a great set on.

  2. Betsy,
    The pictures are amazing!!! Looks like it was a fantastic trip!