I have some catching up to do! On June 22, Ellie and I checked Perseverance Lake off the hiking list. This one's about five miles round trip, which is pretty much Ellie's limit. She was totally done at the end of this one.
This trail begins near Ward Lake and has tons of berries along the way. Unfortunately, when we went through, it was still early for picking. The trailhead said it was bear country, to I made sure to leash up Ellie and I let my new bear bell jingle us all the way there.
The lake at the end was so beautiful. I did unleash Ellie when we got there so she could get around. The edge of the lake was covered in brush, logs and muskeg so we had to pick out route carfully. I think we stayed about 30 minutes eating snacks and then headed back. The trail guide says there's 450 feet of elevation gain, but my GPS showed 557. Not that it makes that much of a difference.
I let Ellie run off-leash on the way back. I'm sure she enjoys it much more. She always runs back and forth, waiting for me to catch up before she takes off again.
The day was perfect for hiking, as most days around here have been. Overcast and about 60-65 degrees, a little rain every once in a while, but no sun baring down on you on exposed desert trails. It's a nice change.
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.