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Hiking the Alaskan Wilderness

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Originally published on 29 December 2007. I went to Alaska for a week after my college graduation. Alaska in December? You bet!

More adventures in Alaska! Today was kind of an easy day. No ice climbs, no flying planes onto glaciers, just hiking the beautiful, gorgeous Alaskan wilderness!

We got up whenever–around 9:30 before the sun started to rise. Shannon and I ate leftover chicken noodle soup for breakfast. Yep, for breakfast! It was just as good as the first go-around. Kristie came in a little later, and we all sat around the table eating and talking about what we could do today. Looking out the back window was especially amazing today because the clouds were lower than before. I could see the base of the mountain, then it looked like it stopped behind the clouds about halfway up, then the peak was visible above that. The white sky against the snow-covered mountain and white clouds made it look like a painting. Every house in Alaska has a view like that. It’s amazing!

We got dressed and decided to hike Thunderbird Falls because they said it’s beautiful and just a nice, short hike out in the woods. When we started up the trail, I couldn’t help but absolutely marvel everywhere I looked. There were a few houses there at the beginning with smoke coming out of chimneys, which looked to me like the sort of cozy homes you read about in Christmas books. The trees were covered with piles of snow, and the path was completely covered with pretty, white powder. There were few footprints along the path, which made it all the more special that we went out there. The wooden bridges covered in snow and the way the path wove around through the trees reminded me of a movie scene. Everything looked picture perfect–like something you see in an Ansel Adams book or some photoshopped pictures from a calendar. Everything seemed really peaceful, and there was so much to see.

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Thunderbird Falls Trail

We walked down to a creek and along the solid ice edge over to a waterfall. The creek was beautiful because the snow was untouched and piled high on top, but we could still hear water running beneath it. Walking over a ways more, we saw the most spectacular thing–the half frozen waterfall! It was frozen at the top, but water still rushed out from under the ice. Then it dropped again, more of it frozen this time, and the mist at the bottom was frozen in midair, too! It was awesome. Wonderful. Fantastic. All that and more. The frozen mist was white because it was snow-covered, but also had the bluish tint like the glaciers did.

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Thunderbird Falls!

After hiking around there some more, we got back to the truck and headed for the house. I took a fabulously hot shower (I never appreciated hot water so much!), then joined Kristie and Shannon in the den for lunch. We watched some TV most of the afternoon, and I made a couple of phone calls to touch base with my family.

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The hole is bigger than me!

Shannon stayed home tonight while Kristie and I met their friend Teresa for SUSHI! I had real Alaskan Salmon sushi, folks, and it was so good! Most of you know about my affection for good sushi! So now here I am, my last night in Alaska. We have another full day ahead of us tomorrow. Not sure exactly what we’re doing, but I know we’ll eventually make it to Anchorage to look around there, eat at the Moose’s Tooth (gourmet pizza and salads, I hear), and catch my plane late that night. So there you have it!

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