Young’s Gulch/River

As in most of my  backpacking experiences, this one did not follow the initial plan. We set out at about 5pm on Friday for a Steven’s Gulch but had to reroute due to an obvious “FOR DAY USE ONLY” sign in the parking lot. So down the Poudre we went until we hit a local bar. (I stopped in… to call our emergency contact and tell him the change in plans). Next stop: Young’s Gulch. I had hiked that same route in mid March and the half frozen stream that you cross MULTIPLE times was small and 80% frozen. No such luck on this trip. The “stream” was more like a small river and the stone crossings were hidden beneath the icy flow. Not wanting to get wet, the we-who-do-not-have-waterproof-hiking-boots kids chose the less obvious, less safe courses. I fell in on the third crossing. We lost a few others to the stream crossing nonsense, but the campfire at the conclusion of the day had us rejuvenated in no time. After too much food, off-key singing, and an abundance of campfire stories, my sleeping bag felt like a plush hotel bed.

The night held a storm of rain and snow and only Lauren refused to succumb to the peaceful sound. A reenactment of the morning hours:

3am  – Lauren: “Guys, what time does the sun come up? I can’t sleep.”

          – Me: “6am. Go back to sleep.”

4am  – Lauren: “What time do you think it is? Is the sun coming up yet?”

          – Laura: “Uh, ya, I think I see some light outside.”

5am  – Lauren: “It is not getting light! What time is it?”

          – Laura and I: *snore*

6am  – Lauren: “Ryan. Ryan! Are you awake?”

          – Ryan: “Mrphlph…”

           (Lauren wanders away from camp to our sleepy eyes’ delight)

9am  – Me: “Lauren, did you ever bring your bag in from the rain?” 

           – Lauren: “Too late now.”

9-9:30am: (We listen to Paul snore in the tent beside us.)

9:30am: Breakfast: the only thing that we desire more than sleep. 

———————————————-

That morning, we hiked back toward the car making a detour up a steep incline to get an awesome view of… whiteness. (See pictures below). Another great backpacking adventure for the CSU kids!

Laura assisting Lauren across the "stream." Paul nervously awaits his own fate.

Laura assisting Lauren across the "stream." Paul nervously awaits his own fate.

 

Not a bad view for a potty break :) Note the yellowish spot in the lower center. Home sweet tent!

Not a bad view for a potty break 🙂 Note the yellowish spot in the lower center. Home sweet tent! Note the white specks throughout the picture: Very unwelcome precipitation.

 

Who knew that Ponderosa pines smell like butterscotch and vanilla. Seriously! Go sniff one!

Who knew that Ponderosa pines smell like butterscotch and vanilla? Seriously! Go sniff one!

 

(Sorry, I can't make it straight) This is a funny one. Laura willingly offered up her potential dryness to try and find a decent crossing for us after we had wandered off trail. Little did we know that the rocks to her right were the trail crossing rocks. Oops.

(Sorry, I can't make it straight) This is a funny one. Laura willingly offered up her potential dryness to try and find a decent crossing for us after we had wandered off trail. Little did we know that the rocks to her right were the trail crossing rocks. Oops.

 

The Clan: Paul, Lauren, Laura, Jarrod, Ryan, and me.

The Clan: Paul, Lauren, Laura, Jarrod, Ryan, and me.

 

Gorgeous scenery even in the midst of mist.

Gorgeous scenery even in the midst of mist.

 

"Wow," says Laura, "What beautiful scenery we have today."

"Wow," says Laura, "What beautiful scenery we have today."

 

As luck would have it, the clouds began to part only moments after we began our descent toward the trail.

As luck would have it, the clouds began to part only moments after we began our descent toward the trail.

 

And the conclusion of another great backpacking adventure...

And the conclusion of another great backpacking adventure...

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27 April 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Hiking/Backpacking. Leave a comment.

Reuniting with Alaska

   In late July (two days after Justin and Kendra’s wedding) I got the amazing opportunity to visit Alaska in her home state of… you guessed it… Alaska. One word to describe it: indescribable. Here are some pictures that speak for themselves:

We we able to kayak on this beautiful lake by Mariah's grandmother's house. It was cloudy pretty much the entire time I was in Palmer, but here, it really didn't matter.

We we able to kayak on this beautiful lake by Mariah's grandmother's house. It was cloudy pretty much the entire time I was in Palmer, but here, it really didn't matter.

This quaint little barn was on our way back from a biking excursion. I thought it epitomized the area quite well.

This quaint little barn was on our way back from a biking excursion. I thought it epitomized the area quite well.

Me being myself in a field of Flowers. Who new Alaska was so colorful? (The state that is... we already knew that about you, M :) )

Me being myself in a field of Flowers. Who new Alaska was so colorful? (The state that is… we already knew that about you, M 🙂 )
Picturesque :)

Picturesque 🙂

I just like this one.

I just like this one.

The baby Musk Oxen at the Musk Oxen farm, Palmer, Alaska.

The baby Musk Oxen at the Musk Oxen farm, Palmer, Alaska.
More Musk Oxen... Boxen... Goosen!

More Musk Oxen... Boxen... Goosen!

The Little Susitna River. Beauty in aquatic form.

The Little Susitna River. Beauty in aquatic form.

A distanced view of the Matanuska Glacier... This was as close as we got due to a slightly sketchy bridge.

A distanced view of the Matanuska Glacier... This was as close as we got due to a slightly sketchy bridge.

Levi (Mariah's brother) was kind enough to take me to Jim Creek for not one, but 2 midnight fishing trips (seriously... this is midnight). Fish count?  Zilch.

Levi (Mariah's brother) was kind enough to take me to Jim Creek for not one, but two midnight fishing trips (seriously... this is midnight). Fish count? Zilch.

Jim Creek at the twilight hour.

Jim Creek at the twilight hour.

The waterfall of Thunderbird Falls. We had to venture slightly off trail to get this shot. Good thing it was the perpetually wet summer and we were already soaked, so trudging through the water and mist was forgivable.

The waterfall of Thunderbird Falls. We had to venture slightly off trail to get this shot. Good thing it was the perpetually wet summer and we were already soaked, so trudging through the water and mist was forgivable.

These are Bluebell flowers (not to be confused with the fatal Blue Monk's Head). Alaska's elementary teacher used to bribe her students for bringing these flowers to school. Way to encourage destruction of wildlife. I kid, I kid, ;)

These are Bluebell flowers (not to be confused with the fatal Blue Monk’s Head). Alaska’s elementary teacher used to bribe her students for bringing these flowers to school. Way to encourage destruction of wildlife. I kid, I kid, 😉
We've made it to the top of The Butte!!! For the second time thanks to my uncanny ability to delete pictures from my camera. It was worth it though...

We've made it to the top of The Butte!!! For the second time thanks to my uncanny ability to delete pictures from my camera. It was worth it though...

Toto, I don't think we're in Colorado anymore. This is the view of Palmer, AK from the top. It amazes me how the mountains seems to just shoot up from the earth with no foothills.

Toto, I don't think we're in Colorado anymore. This is the view of Palmer, AK from the top. It amazes me how the mountains seems to just shoot up from the earth with no foothills.

And our virtual tour de Palmer ends with Summit Lake on the far side of Hatcher Pass. Too bad I won't be getting to go back anytime soon. Oh wait... :)

And our virtual tour de Palmer ends with Summit Lake on the far side of Hatcher Pass. Too bad I won't be getting to go back anytime soon. Oh wait... 🙂

22 February 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . Alaska, Hiking/Backpacking, travel. Leave a comment.