Hatcher Pass and Fuzzy Cuffs

   I’m not yet finished with the Europe series, but lets face it: I’m bored easily and Alaska has provided me with ample detour material.

      This weekend I went for a hike with Stephanie into Hatcher Pass. It was a spur of the moment decision and we decided the rainfall would not deter us. Unfortunately, it also didn’t deter a certain lady ranger that made the most of showing off her “superiority.”

      We didn’t make it half way up the hill to Hatchers before my $100 car began smoking. Stephanie and I were gabbing away when a guy honked at us and let us know that we were on the verge of a major meltdown–or blowup; you decide. (Being the awesome mechanic that I am, I personally sense that it is a slipping belt… or maybe it was Levi who told me that. We will never know.)

Gloria sitting on her rightful throne... awaiting junkyardom.

Gloria sitting on her rightful throne... awaiting junkyardom.

         So we changed the plans from starting at Summit Lake to making it our final destination. As we first began the ascent, “Fuzzy Cuffs” (my coworker, Matt, informed me of this endearing title with the summation: “because she’s a pansy.” ) told us to move my car further uphill. I protested with the “but it’s gonna blowup” defense, but she made me anyhow.

Ireland!

Ireland!?

       About 500 yards up the road she told us we were not dressed appropriately for such severe weather. It is summer. It is rainy. So what. Even in Alaska, the summer temps are mild enough that you will make it out alive if only you keep moving. 

Enjoying the scenery. Fuzzy Cuffs excluded.

Enjoying the scenery. Fuzzy Cuffs excluded.

       Nearing the top, now. She stops us again: “I don’t think you understand. Are you okay? I don’t think you are. You’re not dressed right. You know people have died up here!?” Yes, ma’am. By the way, it’s summer. And warm. Just in case you have failed to actually step outside of your ranger rover in the past few months.

Summit Lake surrounded by a mysterious fog. Perfect murder mystery setting. Maybe we misjudged Fuzz.

Summit Lake surrounded by an eerie fog. Perfect murder mystery setting. Maybe we misjudged Fuzz.

Summit Lake

.

      Stephanie and I ignored her other failed attempts and began mocking her as an alternative to slaying. We did get some good pictures. One as she parked on top of the hill and hawk-eyed us all the way back to my car, and the other as she drove by once we made it. One thing is for sure: she is an import. 

See ya next time, Fuzz!

See ya next time, Fuzz!

28 July 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Alaska, Hiking/Backpacking, travel. 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.