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Old 07-25-2012, 09:25 PM   #166
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36 Miles One Way (Pt. 4)

As I headed back it went from a tense blast with precise movements on the beach of smoothed over river rocks, to sand and a few rocks here and few rocks there, to hunting out the strips of sand, then back to where you had to hunt for a line, and to just pushing through.


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I love that type of riding and I never wanted it to end. Then I came up the little mound I stopped by on the way up and pulled over, feeling good and loving life.



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All grizzled out as I may have been, surrounded by amazing beauty.



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But I couldn't stay forever, and soon I was passing by the oddly placed house again.



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Then through the good section. So, if any of you want to try this just know that if you can make it through the first few miles of this, you can make it to the end no problem.



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But sadly it was over, and I had to take the exit to the left and head home to the truck.



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After stopping at the car wash to wash off any salt, of cours. It was odd, the car washes had their own garage doors so it coud turn into its own little container, probably not a bad thing if you are trying to wash a car in sub-freezing weather I suppose.

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Old 07-28-2012, 02:01 AM   #167
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A Bit of Hope

It was hard the next day, pulling out of my sweet little beach camp spot and heading back north. I hated leaving, there is something about that place, with the majestic volcanoes intertwined in the cloudy heavens that still pulls on me even to this day, two years later. It was sad but I had to go, there was still plenty more to explore.


The weekend was coming and I headed back to Anchorage to pick up the sister. Now as kids, Val and I did't really get along. My pops likes to tell the story of how when we were young, she used to do things to piss me off. A jab here and a poke there type of stuff, and when I would get fed up with it I would hit her back then she would go crying to the parents to get me in trouble. We all took a trip in the camper van up to the Canadian Rockies one year, I was about 13, and one day she kept aging me on and finally I socked her good. Now she was always much more sly than I was. I would always get caught, she never would. But this time my pops saw what was going on and when she went to them they said she deserved it. That was pretty much the end of it.


When we were in college, we would still go dirtbiking for the summer holidays some of the time and see each other during the holidays but that was about it. She went to CU and I was up at CSU, plus I am 3 years older, and her friends at school didn't believe she even had a brother. I was the phantom brother. I would often say things in a way that she found offensive and condescending and we were never really close.


Then, when I met Tina things started to change. I dont know exactly what it is, the Asian, or in her case the Vietnamese culture, is very family oriented so that may have rubbed off on me. She somehow made me nicer I am told, and we started hanging out with my sister more and more. They get along well, talking hospital and healthcare talk.


Anyway, back in Anchorage Val and I discussed what our options were for the weekend. We decided that we would head down to Hope since it wasn't that far away. 88 miles, or 142 km, is close by Alaska standards. I had scoped the place out briefly a while back so I knew where we would stay. Val likes to hike and there were a few options for us there. We pulled over into a decent little spot by the river, just up from some gold panners.


The next morning she threw the Rat into her coat and we headed three up on the KLR to the end of the road, or at least to where they gated the road off on the Palmer Creek Road. It is actually a pretty darn fun little road, for a road. But we weren't there to ride, so we parked the bike and headed up the path to the Twin Lakes.


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It was awesome to be up there, hanging with the sister.


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And the Rat too I guess.
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:14 AM   #168
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A Bit of Hope (Pt. 2)

Like everything in Alaska, it was beautiful up there. This one is looking back down the valley to the road.


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Pretty soon though, we were to the second of the Twin Lakes.


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And mesmerized by another glacier. Although, I don't think it is actually big enough to be a true glacier.



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And then the trail petered out so we chilled for a minute, taking in the glory, and discussing where to go next.



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Old 07-30-2012, 09:29 PM   #169
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A Bit of Hope (Pt. 3)


We looked around and decided to figure out how to make it onto the ridge above. We studied the terrain and decided that this would be the best route:


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You see it right? No big deal, just a little scree towards the top. Luckily, in Alaska trails are for schmucks.


On the way up, we could have caught some dinner. These little ptarmigan are just a little too confident in their camouflage. Sure it is good, but if I had brought my throwing knife it would have been easy eating, or a lost knife since it has been a while and I am not very practiced.


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Then, over the ice and snow we went, actually, we just went around. But, there were some locals that hiked all the way up there with their spiked crampons just the walk around on the little bit of ice. It seemed a little overkill.



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It was a decent push to make it to the ridge. The scree fields are always fun, we were careful not to kick rocks down on each other as we climbed up. Before long we were there, and it was immediately apparent that it was well worth the effort.



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The Rat was loving it up there too.



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Old 08-01-2012, 09:52 PM   #170
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A Bit of Hope (Pt. 4)

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It could definitely be considered one of those "pointless conquests", but well worth it none the less.



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And the clouds kept getting swept over our heads and changing the landscape as they passed.




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Old 08-05-2012, 10:39 PM   #171
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A Bit of Hope (Pt. 5)



We looked around for a nice place to sit down and take it all in.



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Then cracked a local ale.



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And stared off into the vastness.



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Old 08-05-2012, 11:04 PM   #172
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A Bit of Hope (Pt. 6)

But we couldn't stay forever and headed back down.



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I kept getting this feeling in my gut, like I should keep taking pictures. Val got a little tired of me stopping all the time, but I could catch up. Not that she was a slow hiker or anything, I just find that running down hill is easier.



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Now looking at that one here, it is a little like Where is Waldo.



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But, soon we were down and I kept taking even more pictures of the same thing.



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Old 08-06-2012, 09:40 PM   #173
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A Bit of Hope (Pt. 7)

We weren't quite down yet though.


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And I had several more urges to keep stopping for pictures.


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One more of back from where we came from.


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And a final reflection picture before we loaded up on the trusty KLR and headed back down the dirt road.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:14 PM   #174
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Unreal photos...just wow. Thanks for sharing, looks like you had the adventure of a lifetime
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:29 PM   #175
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Sweet picts! Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:33 PM   #176
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beautiful photos... do you have a link for the twin lakes - so i can see where it is on google map?
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:28 AM   #177
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Many many Thanks!

Thanks guys, glad all of you are enjoying it! Thanks for commenting.

Here is a link to "Twin Lakes" or actually the Palmer Creek Road on Google Maps:

https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q...ed=0CAUQ8gEwAA

The point is for the Palmer Creek Road, if you zoom in and follow it South to were it ends, you can see the lakes a little ways further down and to the right just a hair. It is a fun and easy dirt road even if you don't hike up to the lakes.

Safe travels ClifNotes!

Nanuq, thanks a million! As I'm sure you know since it looks like you live up there, all you can try and do is capture a fraction of it.

DARKRYDER, my hope it that it is a great chapter in a life of Adventure....well, we can hope.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:26 AM   #178
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Hope Sunset


After our little hike to the ridge, as were were rolling 3-up down the valley, we decided that it was a little too early to call it a day. Plus, the sun was about to set so we decided to find a place to watch it go down.


Originally we thought we would just hike out to Gull Rock, one of the more popular hiking trails there, but then after we realized it was an 11 mile round trip we changed our mind. We decided to just start down the path looking for a place to sit by the water for a little.


On the way, Val found some huge leaves and made me take a pic.


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We didn't make it too far before we found a little opening in the trees and called it good.


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We just about didn't make it in time, at least it lingers around longer than normal in those parts.



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But all in all, it was sub-par considering its predecessors. We weren't disappointed though.



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Then we headed back. And, found some more mushrooms.



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Old 08-16-2012, 10:09 PM   #179
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Hope Point

The next morning we had to decide where to hike; it was either out to Gull Rock or up to Hope Point. The decision was pretty easy,we figured the view would be better up on Hope Point so that is where we headed.


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They start from the same path out of the campground. The path to Gull Rock follows the coast while the one to Hope Point goes straight up the mountain. It is one bitch of a hike. This is how one guy describes it:



This is one tough hike. If it were any more steep, you'd be Batman and Robin climbing up a building. They didn't even have the courtesy to put in switchbacks. But if you're in shape and up for the challenge, I highly recommend this hike for its excellent views of Turnagain Arm, the City of Hope and Resurrection Valley, and as you get to the top, the Kenai and Chugach Mountains. You'll also get a faint view of Anchorage across the Arm.

The trail starts just before the entrance of the campground. You'll follow the creek for an 1/8 of a mile and then- THAT'S IT!- VACATION'S OVER! You will constantly be going uphill with very little trail that is actual level. The 2 worst spots are the bluff and the last part of the ridgeline. But I definitely have to say that the views and scenery are worth it.

When you get to the top, if you have a mind to, the trail heads right into the heart of the mountains but I have no information of what's beyond the peak.

http://www.alaskahikesearch.com/hikes/HopePt.htm


Length 5 mi
Elevation Gain 3,600 ft
Duration 4-8 hours
Top Elevation 3,708 ft

Yea, 1097 meters in 3 kms

Val had some second thoughts on the way up, it was brutal, the thought briefly crossed my mind too but I was determined to make it up.


We weren't quite up all the way and it was obvious it was well worth the effort.


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Faint view of Anchorage? Not on that day. It was the type of day that makes a Colorado boy feel at home, minus the water of course. It was awesome to see Denali a short 325 miles (525 KM) away, towering above Anchorage.


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We pushed hard and finally made it up to the top. Pointless, but well worth the effort indeed.



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It was an amazing spot to just sit and take it all in.



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But as you can see, the equipment wasn't ideal for the long range shots.



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There was a nice view of the Turnagain




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We just basked in the sun.



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But we couldn't stay forever. At that type of incline, it is much easier to run down, as long as you are sure footed I suppose. In the loose stuff, the one foot under your butt and one out ahead trick works well too.




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The light was crap for that one, but it was pretty crazy to think we actually took the time to walk up it, for no reason.



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But it was obvious that this was reason enough.



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Z_HARSH screwed with this post 08-20-2012 at 08:20 PM
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:14 PM   #180
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Wonderful Photography.
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