Sunday, February 23, 2014

Hiking Mt. Jeneau in Alaska

Hiking Mt. Juneau in Alaska was not my typical hike.  A dear childhood friend was living in Juneau, AK. For many years sharing her biking, hiking, and snow boarding experiences.  After years of hearing her adventures, this city girl decided to venture into the culture of Alaska.  I am writing about this particular event for the simple reason of coming across this photo and busting out laughing while alone in my home office.  Memories.......!

Kari had to work her Mountaineer bike business that day in Juneau, AK.  She handed me over to the care of her energetic and fit husband, who thought taking me up a mountain was equal to my walk around the block in the city and stopping for a coffee.  He gave me all the right gear, even a nice water pack.  We were up early and started up the mountain.

Within an hour there was a vertical "walk" that was more like climbing. Let's just give meaning to this. You climb a ladder.  One hand above the other holding each rung to give you balance and stability. In my humble opinion we were climbing the side of this mountain. Both hands were required.  It was a warm day,  Each time I tried to sip my water nothing would come out. I was already embarrassed over how out of shape I was. So winded I could not even get water out of my pack. I was not about to ask why I could get no water from a simple water pack, so with a stubbornness we continued our trek.  Kari's husband was always several feet ahead of me.  This is never the good end of hike to be on. Those who scramble faster get to sit, wait and rest, and the minute you reach them, they plunge forward. No rest for the one lagging behind. In this case me.

We finally came to a creek that splashed over the trail. I drank in as much water as I could. Soaked my head and then we continued.  Ray had no ears for any whining or complaining. My stomach started to growl.  I am with someone who is responsible for my food intake. Cleary two hours into a hike required some snack. Nope not at all.  We plunged forward.

We finally reached the top. I tossed my water pack down. Ray looked at me, and said, "Are you drinking water?"  A full water pack was not a good sign. I finally told him I tried but nothing would come out. He started laughing. Really laughing hard at me. I was not amused. I was tired, hungry, thirsty and hot.  He then went on to explain that you have to bite down on the straw to allow water to pass through.  How would this city girl even know this?!

Finally time to eat. He pulled out a bar, unwrapped it and gave me a quarter of the bar. He then explained that this kind of bar was like a meal. I remember thinking, great then give me the entire meal.  That day was one of my best days in Juneau and I had so much fun. I am so glad to have  had this experience and this picture is one that makes me smile. 

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