Workout: another bomb-ass hike - 9-10 miles
First off, the people who live in this area are lucky as hell.
This is a bad picture, but you see that square on the left? THAT'S A HOUSE. There are more below. Like, these people get to wake up every morning and look at that. The hell. Of course, there are many practical reasons against living here (SO MUCH GAS, a good hour or so from Anchorage, where most people work, bad weather conditions preventing you from driving down the narrow, winding road to civilization), but come on. This is paradise.
Initially, the hike was kind of boring - you walk up the valley on a wide, well-traveled path for 2+ miles before you reach anything interesting (it's all right, yell away, I am so spoiled). My dad may or may not have called it the Bataan Death March on our way back.
We hit a river and I was interested to see what Bailey would do. Most dogs are very cautious about river crossings, especially when the water is partially frozen. Bailey, however, is special (in that adorable dumb-as-a-rock way), plus she loves water. Well, as soon as we were within sight of the river, she went SPRINTING towards it and before we could stop her, she leapt onto the partially frozen ice in the middle of the river. Obviously the ice collapsed, as partially frozen ice tends to do when abnormally heavy weight is applied, and Bailey spent the next fifteen seconds or so frantically trying to figure out how to claw herself out. She made it, of course, and I'm pretty sure she forgot about the experience within fifteen seconds.
We continued on our way, encountered some ice
and moved on up the valley. We were drooling at this
the whole time, which lead to some minor stumbling and more than one "holy shit, where did that ice/branch/moose come from?" Within no time, we were there!
THE BIGGEST CAIRN YOU'VE NEVER SEEN
These crazy ice crystals were EVERYWHERE.
We chilled for a while, ate lunch, tortured Bailey with salami (and eventually gave her some), and once we couldn't feel our fingers, started back.
Hiking to a lake is never quite as satisfying as summiting something, but this was a nice, relaxing afternoon spent with my dad. He's got two fake hips and a bum knee, so extreme vertical is mostly out of the question for him these days. It's nice we can get out there at all! We hiked a good 9-10 miles so while my legs are feeling it, I don't think I'll be sore tomorrow.
I spent the whole way back convincing my dad this area would be the perfect place to retire, and I think it worked. At least, I'm pretty sure he misspoke when he said "We're moving to California-deal with it."
Come on hypothetical dad who doesn't know this blog exists, you could look at this EVERY DAY!!!