I’ve tried to ignore the call of the wild, but I’ve failed miserably. After our cross country camping road trip, I’ve been dying to get back out. I was able to hold out through the hot Florida summer, but as soon as colder weather hit I planned a weekend camping getaway only a half-hour from home. Unfortunately, it was a total bust, but I was able to hike a small portion of the Florida Trail. Ever since then, I’ve been yearning for my next great adventure.
The perfect opportunity struck when I remembered that my brother will graduate from high school this year. He’s an outdoorsy type of person, and he had expressed some interest at possibly hiking parts of the Appalachian Trail. Well, we decided that hiking in Georgia in the summer didn’t sound like a fantastic plan. We thought of hitting up the northern portion of the Pacific Crest Trail, which starts not too far from my parents’ house, but quickly realized that it would still be mostly snowed over in early June.
While we where throwing out ideas about Yellowstone or possibly the Grand Canyon over the phone one night, TJ (my brother) said, “Well, what about– oh, no…never mind.”
“No,” I replied, “go on. We’re just brainstorming. Can’t hurt, right?”
“I’ve always wanted to go to Alaska! It might be too expensive, and…I don’t know.”
I agreed. It probably was too expensive. We decided to look more the Yellowstone trip, but the thought of traveling in Alaska was stuck in my mind. I began to research ticket prices, travel ideas, and tips for fending off bears. I looked into train prices and the best locations for backpacking. The idea of all that untamed wilderness was overwhelming in the most wonderful way.
For a couple of weeks Alaska consumed my soul. I’ve watched every Netflix documentary and show related to Alaska, researched prices and gear lists, and compiled an Excel spreadsheet that documented all possible trip costs and variations.
Finally, I presented the data to my brother. We talked about costs and gear that he would be responsible for, and with his budget in mind decided that we would travel down to the Kenai Peninsula and backpack along the Resurrection River and Russian Lakes trails. The rough plan is to fly into Anchorage, take the train down to Seward, and spend the first day hiking and camping up near the Harding Icefield. The next 5 days will be following the Resurrection River up from the Exit Glacier to the Russian Lakes trail system. Depending on our speed while hiking, we may even make it to the Resurrection Pass trail.
Also, we’re planning on taking a day cruise into Resurrection Bay to watch whales and see some glaciers up close. I haven’t told him this as it’s a part of his graduation present…he doesn’t read my blog, so my secret should be pretty safe!
In parting, I’ll leave you with two of my favorite quotes by John Muir, tastefully incorporated into this North Face commercial.