Bear Doing Things Get Outside

A Short Essay: Hiking Mt Baldy

April 28, 2017

Scrolling through photos on my phone (which are increasingly being taken over by a 3 month old baby – not that I hate it) and I found my photos from a hike I did with my friend Betsy on Mt Baldy in Alaska.

Looking at the pictures, I was taken back to the crisp day – a 25 degree, sunny day that required a hat to keep the cold air from numbing my ears. I felt like such a badass – two women (and a baby!), tackling the snow and steep terrain to bag a peak on a perfect weekday afternoon. 

We took the backside trail up, and marveled at the effects of the Alaska Mile – the inability to gauge distance while hiking. What looks close can actually be far away, and we kept climbing the mountainside, sometimes post-holing and eternally grateful for the ice trekkers and trekking poles brought along as a last minute thought.

Crossing over the top of Mt. Baldy and appreciating the views given of Eagle River, of the Chugach Mountain range, and bluebird skies; with the feeling that Spring was just around the corner and longer days were on their way.

We attempted to descend down the front side of the mountain, but the steepness proved too treacherous. I had a 10lb bundle on my chest, throwing my center of gravity forward, and I’m not known for my agility. We made the choice to turn back and go down the longer backside route. It added more miles and time to the hike, but allowed for more conversation.

We got back to the car as the first parts of dusk were beginning to hit, and drove back to Anchorage with rosy cheeks, sore quads, and a sense of accomplishment. We met up with Cody, Betsy’s Fiancee and a friend I made early into their move to Anchorage because he wore orange pants at REI on a Friday. Over burgers and a beer at F Street Station, we shared details of our day.

I love looking at my old travel pictures because they bring back such vivid memories of what I was doing that day at that time. I desperately miss the lifestyle we had in Alaska: mini-adventures could happen every day with the natural playground the state provides. I wish we were there enjoying the awakening of the flora and fauna, and giving our little Bear unparalleled access to the outdoors. But I know we will be back, someday. Until then, frequent visits will have to do. See you in July, Alaska!


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