I’m finally feeling a bit caught up in the reading department. It seems I’ve been behind in keeping up with reading one book per month ever since… January. 🙂
The past handful of days have been absolutely beautiful. I know I've said that before, but this last weekend brought sunshine and absolutely clear blue skies. Sunday was warmer than 80 degrees and it was just the thing I needed to feel like my spunky self.
I knew ahead of time that Saturday was going to be gorgeous so I planned to hike early before meeting up with Danelle and the search and rescue dogs. I decided to tackle the Rainbird trail with Ellie.
We picked it up at the trailhead behind the University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan campus. The trailhead leads right out of the parking lot and is a couple miles from the house so it is super convenient. Conceivably, we could walk to the trailhead that is closest to us, about a mile, instead of driving all the way to the college. But then we would have a LOT of stairs to deal with.
We went the whole length of the trail and came back. It was a nice walk, about 2.25 miles round trip with about 145 feet elevation change. It's a nice flat trail once you get up to it, though there are just a couple spots in the middle that can be a bit steep and would have the potential to be slippery in the rain.
There are a couple other entrances to the trail, one at the other end and in about the middle. They both use stairs to access the trail. A lot of stairs. If you start at the college there aren't any stairs and there is a nice little incline at the very beginning, but it doesn't last very long.
Ellie handled the trail really well. I had done it once earlier in the week for work and I thought there might be a couple tricky spots for her but she handled it like a champ. It's also not Forest Service land so she is free to roam without a leash.
During my lunch break Friday I went over to the Discovery Center and picked up the Ketchikan Area Trails Guide. To my surpise, and delight, it was free, not printed with an ink jet printer and spiral bound. Score! It has listed 24 hikes plus a handful of remote trails.
Each trail is complete with directions to the trailhead, a description of the hike and a map. I will happily attempt to hike them all during my stay here.
So this weekend, armed with my handy new trail guide, animal and plant guides and bear info, Ellie and I headed up to Carlanna Lake and then to the end of the trail where it turns into Minerva Mountain Trail. Minerva Mountain Trail is a primitive trail and since I have yet to aquire good map and compass skills, I didn't attempt it.
But even ending where we did, the hike was about 4 miles round trip with about 1,260 net elevation. Not a bad little hike. the trails here are very well maintained and marked which is pretty nice. Though they are covered with crushed rock and I think it hurts Ellie's feet. We'll have to experiment a little more with that.
The other thing to note is fishing is allowed at Carlanna Lake year round. And since the lake itself is only .25 miles from the parking lot it's a totally viable option.
Anyway, it was a beautiul day and we did get a little rain on the way down, which didn't bother me at all. Surprise surprise. Oddly enough I had sort of wanted to see a bear, but I was relieved to end up back at the car without seeing one. I should find out how common it is to see one while hiking. Also, note to self, get a bell to attach to my pack. And Ellie.
And bonus, upon arriving home my first box from SLC had arrived and was waiting for me at the door. What a happy sight.