Currently, I am back home in Anchorage for Anchorage RunFest. I say back home, even though I am not an Alaska native, because it’s been my most favourite place that I have ever lived. We made awesome friends up here, and got to explore and grow our love of the outdoors. Matt got to downhill ski, rock climb, and mountain bike. I got to cross-country ski and snowshoe. We both got to hike and backpack and experience true wilderness. It’s where I am the happiest.
So being back in Alaska for the first time in almost a year (11 months and 2 weeks but I didn’t keep a countdown or anything), I was desperate to get out on a mountain again. Luckily, Betsy (a fellow Carolinian who has made Alaska her home) is a great hiking buddy and she took me to a trail I never climbed in Bear Valley – only a 30 minute drive out of Anchorage during rush hour traffic.
The weather was incredibly sunny – the second evening of sun after weeks of rain – and would have been warm if it weren’t for the wind. We laughed at how our hair was blown around, and how our ears were so cold from the wind. Our hike was incredibly steep, and among catching up on life, we questioned why we’ve never acclimated enough to be hikers who don’t get out of breath.