Alaska Journey Day 42 / by Dave Hileman

The Abbreviated Day

We started up the Keystone Canyon through the Thompson Pass planning to stop at two waterfalls and take a hike on the Goat Trail or the Wagon Trail - both leftovers from the 1899 and 1902 attempts to build pathways from Valdez to the interior and gold fields - first highway in Alaska in 1905. They have only improved slightly since then:) Beautiful waterfalls - Bridal Veil Falls is 600 feet tall. We donned our gear, sprayed for bugs and started out up the trail. The Pack Trail and Goat Trail dicey - slides below us, loose dirt and unstable rock. After a short distance on a forested cliff edge over the road, it got very steep and required some hand holds. We retraced and went a distance on the Wagon Trail until we found large clumps of brown fur on the ground that to our inexpert eyes could have been bear. So we turned around again toward the parking lot. We did get nice views of the falls and I spied and photographed a new bird, the Gray-Cheeked Thrush. New Bird 12 if you are keeping score. A stop at Worthington Glacier revealed loose rock with warning signs on the viewing platform but CINDY, wanted to go another quarter mile toward the base. After safely returning to the car we worked our way back Glennallen entering new territory on the Glenn Highway west toward Palmer. Dinner at an overlook turned into a migraine stop but arrived at Mantanuska Glacier Rec. Area for the night. A day of changed plans.

Cadillac’s Most Correct Viewpoint

We were getting ready to leave but unlike most mornings the Guides were not in a hurry so it was pretty late and just before we left he comes BdB ambling into camp toting a stack of shirts. He completely misunderstood my careful and well-presented instructions (one of my most outstanding qualities) and showed up with a load of T-shirts he foraged from someplace. I did not want them I just wanted him to locate the best place to observe the behavior of the HP gathering ritual. Of course I was not too hard on him but I was disappointed. And he was back with his burps and grunts. I really need to modify his manners. So now what to do, we are off and I did not fully explore this aspect of the HP and still don’t know how to capitalize on this odd need they have but it might have something to do with the writing on them. That might be the key. I guess I can go through the stack and see what clues are there. Also we stopped to see more ice, I know that is a critical HP belief. Adding that to the list of ways to secure Moose Rights.

I am not sure where we are going but we are passing great Moosey areas and I am sad about the rallies. But I still have two later ones on the books so by then I will have most of the HP-O done and can move forward with a great plan. Moose Rights, Now!

Gray Cheeked Thrush

Gray Cheeked Thrush