2012  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

 

   
 
Runtrails' Web Journal
 
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   RENDEZVOUS HIKE & ARCTIC VALLEY BIKE RIDE, p. 2

THURSDAY, JULY 19

 
 

Continued from the previous page.

HIKING BACK NORTH ON RENDEZVOUS RIDGE

The two miles in reverse along the ridge to the saddle between Little Teton and Rendezvous Peaks was the same roller-coaster in reverse. Here are some photos I took going back:

 


White snow (foreground), white lichens beyond


Little Teton to left, Rendezvous Peak beyond in center


What's left of the snow bank that gave me problems in June; Rendezvous Peak dead ahead

From the place I turned around I climbed back up to 3,892 feet, went down again to about 3,600 feet, then reached a fourth high point just east of the saddle at 3,963 feet before descending Rendezvous Peak on the more gradual east and north sides.

The next photo shows the trail going up the south side of Rendezvous Peak. I hiked up there June 23 but not today. Instead, I took the trail to the right along the SE flank of the peak, aiming for the saddle between Rendezvous and Mt. Gordon-Lyon:

This is a view of the ridge from that trail:

A young female hiker took a picture of Cody and me from that trail, showing the view behind me toward one of the ski lifts on Little Teton:

She was facing the sun so my hair is "glowing."

I went down to the saddle between Rendezvous and Gordon-Lyon on a secondary trail about the same way I did last time, avoiding the very steep grade on the primary trail on that side:

Mt. Gordon-Lyon is ahead (north); I aimed toward the left side of the saddle (left arrow below).
The right arrow points to the much steeper trail.

That was a drop from 3,963 feet to 2,645 feet = 1,318 feet in 1.55 miles.

At the saddle I turned left onto the main trail and descended in a generally westerly direction to the parking area:

I've got more photos of that trail in the June 23 and June 30 entries, and I'll show a couple more below with less snow than there was in June.

My total GPS distance was 6.77 miles in 3 hr. 40 min.

I actually went a little farther in less time than that. I forgot to turn my watch back on once for a little distance and I didnít turn it off several times when I stopped to talk to people, give Cody water, etc.

WHAT WAS DIFFERENT THIS TIME

Although the sky was a little hazy today I had great views of nearby mountains from the ridge. I couldnít see the volcanoes in the Alaska Range very well, however.

Iím very disappointed in my photos today. They aren't as good as the ones I took June 23. Apparently the camera lens was smudged enough to affect most of the pictures I took today, almost like what happened when I was up on the ridge the last time. I used the same settings that I usually do but the quality of the pictures is generally lousy, in my opinion. I'm still not completely comfortable with my new Sony camera.


Eagle and Symphony, two glacial lakes at the end of the South Fork of the Eagle River valley

A lot of snow has melted since I was up here on June 30, less than three weeks ago.

The trails were much drier today and there was only one short patch of snow to walk over -- the same treacherous one on the east side of Little Teton. I avoided it going outbound and stepped carefully through it on the way back:

The angle of that picture doesn't make it look problematic but it was still a literal "slippery slope."

Cody was happy to still have some patches of snow off-trail where he could dig, eat, and roll around.

The long trail up and down the north side of Rendezvous was much less muddy than it was in June. There was still one place about 100 feet long that was a muddy mess and people were still trampling through the alpine shrubs and other plants to avoid getting dirty or falling down.

 

I saw a few new kinds of flowers blooming today. I especially liked these little blue harebells on the ridge:

The next two flowers I saw on June 30 but photographed again:


Mouse-ear chickweed


Lousewort

There were many more tiny pink mountain cranberries than before, carpeting the northeast side of Rendezvous above 3,500 feet.

WHERE IS EVERYONE?? 

There were only a few vehicles and people in the parking lot when we got there at 10:20 AM. I didnít see anyone on the trails on my ascent or along the ridge until I was coming back, about two hours into my hike. There were three folks on the ridge, three near the saddle, and about a dozen in the last half mile as I descended the main trail.

I thought there would be more folks out there on a pretty day like this. Maybe they were all down at Kenai dipnetting!!

 
Looking back up the main trail as I descended; Gordon-Lyon is L., Rendezvous R.

Seriously Ė I read an article this evening on the Alaska Dispatch website that said the Kenai River was packed with people netting sockeye salmon today. A family of four can take up to 55 sockeyes. I think thatís their annual limit, not daily.

Apparently the Seward Hwy. was one long line of traffic from Anchorage to Kenai today, with many folks headed to the mouth of the river (where we observed dipnetters from a ridge last weekend). One reporter sarcastically called it combat fishing and described the bloody carnage (of the fish, not people!) in nauseating detail.

The sockeyes are coming through in droves. The silver salmon arenít, so all silver salmon harvesting has come to a halt this week. The few that do come in must be allowed to swim upstream to spawn.

 

Above and below: more pretty flowers now on the lower part of the main trail

We need to find a reasonably-priced source of fresh salmon filets in Anchorage. Samís Club was out of them. Maybe Safeway? We got some good fresh salmon at Safeway in Seward at a much better price than at the retail outlets run by the fishing companies.

JIM'S BIKE RIDE 

Jim had a fun ride downhill on dirt/gravel Arctic Valley Road for about seven miles, then pretty easy going on pavement the last five miles on more flat terrain. He had enough energy left to ride four more miles to/from the library after supper.


Ready to go

The upper seven miles were very dusty but at 10:30 to 11 AM when he was riding down only four or five vehicles raised dust going past him. When I came down at 2:30 PM there were a couple dozen vehicles. Jim's timing was good.

He didn't take any pictures during his ride. This is one I took as he began his descent on Arctic Valley Road at the beginning of his ride:

Once again we paid $5 to park at the Arctic Valley trailhead. Although I was hiking on trails in Chugach State Park, even folks who have annual park passes are supposed to pay that fee because the trailhead parking area is on ski resort property.

Sometimes I think I should have purchased an annual Chugach State Park pass for $25 when we first got here but it wouldn't do us any good at this trailhead. So far it would have covered the $5 we paid to park at the Glen Alps trailhead for Flattop Mountain and the $5 we'll have to pay to park at Lake Eklutna tomorrow.

Since we don't know how many times we'll be using parking areas where the pass is valid, we're probably better off not getting one. We enjoy this immense state park (half a million acres!) so much that an occasional $5 parking fee is a small price to pay for the privilege of using it.

Next entry: cycling on the shore of Lake Eklutna north of Anchorage

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, and Cody the ultra Lab

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© 2012 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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