I’ve got some more pictures from alaska to share. The first two groups (which you can find here and here) is from my week in Anchorage, and the ones where I’m on a boat are taken from a harbor wildlife cruse I took that was based out of Seward, AK on the Kenai Peninsula. For all of these pictures, I was hiking Mount Marathon in Seward, AK.
This was a really fun hike that I did in Seward. When looking at the route before I left, I noticed there was 2 trails (which I found more about later) and took the easier (and longer) hikers trail. It was something like 3 miles from the edge of town where the trail started to the top. The trail started out in a pretty dense forest for about a mile before breaking. Here’s what the trail looked like as we got through the trees.
This didnt go straight up, it hooked around the back before I regained the ridge. It was cold on the back side. There was no sun, a large creek and the wind had kicked up. I was fully prepared though, so I just pulled out my gloves and hat and kept on going.
This is a picture of the town of seward from near the top of the mountain. Yes, that’s the whole town – it’s around 5,000 people. It was a nice little place, and I probably walked from one end of town to the other about 4 times per day – or more. I had no other way to get around, but I dont mind, it was good exercise.
This is a shot of ressurection bay from mt marathon. It is pretty impressive. During the good friday earthquake of 1964, (the highest ever recored on the richter scale) a tsunami was headed for the town, but the deepness of the bay blunted the strike and there wasnt as much damage in seward as there was when the tsunami made land in california.
So after reaching the high point and turning back, I found the trail that I had missed earlier and started following it down. I didnt follow it up – so I didnt know where I’d end up reaching the hiking trail (the one I took up) again. Not too long after, I realized that this moment was never.
That picture that I took earlier saying that I didn’t want to fall down I started going down. As you can see, it’s quite steep. The dirt was really loose, so I was able to pretty much take a few steps then slide down, stopping on one foot for a second and then continuing down the trail. After a while, I realized that I was on what they call the “runners trail”.
This is the trail that I took down from the top – you can make out the lighter part in the grey rock. That was me kicking up the trail and turning the darker rocks over. You can see the trail go off the left hand side of the mountain and duck into the green – that’s where the trail starts going through the river. It took me about an hour and fifteen minutes to descend the trail. I thought that was pretty good, but when I went to dinner later that night, my world was rocked.
I was talking to the bartender when I was eating dinner that night, and he was telling me about the Mt Marathon Race. The race is held every July 4 and was started after a bet in a bar around the turn of the century (the best kind of race, right). The bartender told me that the racers run from around the building we were in (about a mile from the trailhead), to the top of the mountain, and back. The crazy thing was that the record for this run was 45 minutes and some change. When I heard this, I was clearly stunned. I knew that I took the longer route, but didnt think that my 5 hour hike could be distilled into less than an hour race. The even more shocking thing was that the decent (that took me over an hour) took the race winner less than 11 minutes!!!
I couldnt believe it – I want to try the race, but unfortunately it’s so cool that there’s a really long waiting list and they have a lottery. The town grows to 35,000+ people during the race weekend!
That’s the last of the pictures from this hike – next week will be the last installment of my alaska pictures. I hope that you’ve enjoyed them.