Sunday, July 07, 2019

Alaska Cruise 2019


For their 50th anniversary, my parents took us on an awesome Alaska cruise and land adventure.  Here are the highlights.
Vancouver - spent 2 days in this very nice city; took a bicycle tour of Stanley Park; took water taxi to Granville Island; explored Elizabeth Park; does not have rideshare for some reason; Hotel Blu is highly recommended
Ketchikan - first port of call; took a short nature hike to learn about the southeast Alaskan ecosystem; saw a black bear mom and her two cubs and lots of bald eagles; Bengt licked a banana slug and got a numb tongue
Juneau - rode the tram to Mt. Roberts and hiked to Brown's cross for great views; took a long hike near Mendenhall Glacier and saw a porcupine climbing a tree
Skagway - visited the NP museum; took a cool train ride up to White Pass
Glacier Bay NP - saw whales but not too closely
College Bay - saw orcas and otters; in many ways this bay is better than Glacier Bay
Whittier - docked and boarded the Alaska Railroad for the trip to Talkeetna
Talkeetna - didn't have much time here so just ate and got on the bus to Denali State Park
McKinley Princess Lodge - our first land day; did a hike up a ridge to great views; were able to see Denali from the lodge which is pretty rare especially given the smoke from the many wildfires; be sure to get the chili fries at the Base Camp restaurant
Denali Princess Lodge - took a bus to DPL; arrived in time to get to the NP visitor center; hiked to a beaver pond in light rain and saw the beaver swimming around inspecting his work; next day took an all-day bus tundra tour; saw lots of caribou, a fox and his family, a large brown bear in the distance, ptarmigan; golden eagles, Dall sheep, artic ground squirrels, and a moose right along the road; only large mammal we didn't see was a wolf but the guide said it is very rare to see them on the tour
Anchorage - took yet another bus to Anchorage and stayed at the very nice Hotel Captain Cook; the Crow's Nest restaurant is highly recommended












Sunday, June 16, 2019

Three T's Hike

Mark and his group headed up to the San Bernadino Mountains to tackle the Three T's (or whatever ones we get to). We got to the Icehouse Canyon trailhead and of course it was full so we parked about a half mile down the road.  At the trail entrance, I separated from the group and headed up to Icehouse Saddle.  The creek was flowing nicely and it was shady for most of the way.  At the saddle, I took a quick break to refill my water and then headed to the first T, Timber Mountain.  It was quite steep and the short trail to the summit was a pain.  I had some food and water and stretched out a bit ad the summit.  Then it was back down to the main trail and then down a few hundred feet to a bare saddle with nice views to the east and west.  From there is was straight up to the summit of the second T, Telegraph.  The 360 views from there were fabulous, probably better than Baldy even though Telegraph is quite a bit lower.  I contemplated completed the trifecta and going for Thunder but looking down it, it didn't seem worth the effort since I had to hike back down to Icehouse to meet my friends.  So after resting a bit, it was back downhill for a while.  Then uphill again for some last torture.  Near the turnoff for Timber summit, I meet up with my group.  We then headed down to the saddle together.  From there, I got the urge to run down the canyon.  This turned out pretty fun and I made it down in an hour.
Timber summit

They should put this sign near the trailhead.

Telegraph summit

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Cactus to Clouds Hike

Over memorial day, a buddy and me tackled one of the hardest day hikes in the world: Cactus to Clouds (aka Skyline trail).
Use the awesome Hiking Guy guide, we go to the museum a bit after midnight.  The trail started steep and stayed steep.  We got a lot of light from the Palm Springs so didn't really need headlamps until a few miles in.
We were making good time but started to slow up as we approached rescue box #2.  And after Flat Rock, we were dragging.  When we got to Long Valley, we decided to skip the summit since we had been there before and also it was covered in snow and ice still.
It was a great hike but might be a one-time experience.

Parked by the museum

Trailhead

Still 8 miles to go?

This should be posted much closer to the trailhead

Sunrise

The top

Flat rock

Monday, May 20, 2019

Burnt Rancheria Camp

For the last campout of the season, the troop headed up to Mount Laguna, Burnt Rancheria campground.
It got cold, windy and rainy but we had a great time hiking and working on skills.



Monday, April 29, 2019

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Portland Getaway



  • Mount Tabor Park
  • Cannon Beach
  • Drive from Cannon Beach through Astoria and back to the airport
  • Oregon Historical Society Museum
  • Walk along the river
  • Powell's City of Books
  • Diversion
  • Olympic Provisions
  • Tasty n' Daughter
  • Stumptown Coffee
  • Short Round
  • The Cavern