Sep 1, 2015
Well, summer is over people. I don't mean that in a depressing way....but when I wake up and the outside temp is 43 degrees, I'm saying hasta la vista summer. But just because summer is ending doesn't mean the hiking ends. If anything it gets amped up a bit in this house because winter activities using include a little bit of hiking to get there. Over the weekend we were all just itching for a hike. It has been about a couple weeks since our last one which is honestly far too long for this crazy bunch. We need a hike every weekend to unwind.
This time we decided to head to the Turnagain Arm area. We drive down here so many times, and speed right past this rest stop, not ever thinking there is an amazing hike just waiting beyond the parking lot. We set our sights on that. As we were driving I could not believe how the colors were already changing all around us! It happens so fast here in Alaska, one minute everything is lush and green, then you blink and you have autumn colors popping up all over the place. It is really a sight to see and so beautiful! The fireweed blossoms were in fact gone....so winter will be here before we know it! Maybe sooner rather than later as I spotted snow capped mountains Sunday morning!!
The Turnagain Arm Pass is a trail right off the highway at mile marker 68.5 for my Alaska folks. If you get to mile marker 68....you passed the parking lot. It is right there on the left hand side. I read about a trail that forks off from the main trail, kind of an unmarked path if you will. I heard the views are amazing, and the hike was fairly easy.
We set out! This was such a great hike for the kids to be able to run around while still staying on the narrow trail. There weren't any really big cliffs for Pierce to dart to the edge of. You could hear running water all throughout the trail. The kids had so much energy and were making really good time for the first mile, then Chris spotted some blueberry bushes. Then more...and more...and more. They went all the way up the side of the mountain, and I am pretty sure my gang was determined to pick every last one. We spent a good hour and a half scaling the side of this mountain eating blueberry after blueberry until our hands were purple and our teeth were stained the same color. There is just something so cool about eating wild blueberries....love it!
Once everyone was nice and full, we continued on. We made it about another half a mile before Pierce cried out "OH NO I LOST BUZZ!!!!!!" buzz lightyear that is. He carries around this little two inch buzz lightyear everywhere he goes. Chris specifically asked him to leave it in the car so it doesn't get lost. Pierce said he left him in his car seat, but in fact put him in his pocket and at some point pulled him out for a little view of his surroundings. Pierce was devastated as one can imagine. Chris being the hardened soul that he is said "well...he's gone now....". But I was determined to find him. I mean, Pierce was beside himself. Waterfall of tears that broke my mama heart. I was annoyed and frustrated, but we had to give it a try and retrace our steps.
I stupidly asked "where did you have him last?" I mean....as if I was going to give exact coordinates or something. Haha!
So we walked in circles looking in bushes, kicking over rocks, stepping in mud. Round and round we went, back to the blueberries, over the bridge, and then back on the trail. Nothing...
An hour of searching went by and we decided to just keep walking on the trail. As we were getting close to our original stopping point I saw a little white spot on the ground and what do you know...BUZZ!!!!! Pierce started laughing and said " oh buzz you are so funny...."
At that point we decided just to head back down the trail. We didn't make it to the open field that boasted amazing views, but we did have fun. The kids really enjoyed this hike as well. Just walking and talking. It really makes me appreciate every hike from here on out because they will be our last up here. We have made some of the best memories here in Alaska I must say.
And as crazy and tiring as it can be to take four kids five and under on a four mile hike....the drama is always worth it. Well maybe it wouldn't have been worth it if we didn't come home with buzz.