Northwest bound travel blog

Climbing up to Quigley Ridge

Battling our way through alder

Great views

Fireweed almost fully blossomed on a lower slope

Fireweed up top announcing fall is here

The yellow popular also thinks it is fall

Pretty high up

Determined

See the airstrip below?

Mountain man conquers all

Worth the climb

Picture perfect - our guide Thomas taking in the scenery

Oops! We are about to get drenched!


Kantishna, AK We wear pedometers with a goal of at least 10,000 steps (5 miles) per day. Although we hit our goal yesterday, the stroll up Blueberry Hill did not tax us in the least. We made up for it today with quality steps. The day started out gloriously. It was so nice, in fact, that Jim debated whether or not he should bring his raingear. Then we set out for Quigley Ridge. This hike was under the challenging/strenuous heading. It is an elevation gain of 1400 feet. There was none of this wimpy switchback stuff. It was straight up on a very narrow, steep, single-file trail through close in, alder bushes with limbs as sturdy as iron that reached out to grab you and over loose, slippery rock. We eventually reached the top, a rocky outcropping, exhausted but exultant. There we threw ourselves onto the soft, spongy tundra to eat our lunches. It was a breathtaking view and it felt wonderful to sit there, gazing over the landscape, listening to the birds and chatting. After a bit, someone glanced over his shoulder and said, “Uh-oh” and stated to scramble for rain gear. Just that fast a storm was upon us. The heavens opened up with such a deluge that we expected to see Noah’s Ark float past at any time. Needless to say, our trip down the mountain was inspired. We made it back to the lodge wet but safe and sound to swap stories for the day with other guests. We decided, however, that a nice, warm Jacuzzi would be an excellent addition to the lodge. That evening we attended a presentation about mosquitoes. We all though they serve no purpose in life but to dive bomb and torment us. It turns out they are great pollinators and give us a bountiful blueberry crop. One fact that came out was that researches had a bucket that they used to capture 300,000 mosquitoes in a 70 foot diameter circle. That fact was mind boggling.

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