We were hoping to sleep in this Sunday morning but like most days, Drover
had a different idea. No alarm was set to go off, and at 5:45 the sound of dog
tags jingling caught our attention. Drover decided it was time to go out for a
potty break. I told Stacy I would go, so off with the covers and to the sliding
glass door we went. After he did his business it was back to the bedroom and
under the covers again. This time, however, Drover was on the bed and
hogging the comforter. Finally we all got up and started our day, that was a
little after 7 am.
After breakfast, (which was scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, onions,
artichokes, and tomatoes with a bagel, blueberries, blackberries, cantaloupe
and honeydew melon on the side), and a few chores we
decided we needed to go outside. We have had weeks of
clouds and rain and today the sky was blue and the sun was
shining. It was a perfect day at 65 degrees. We opted for
nothing too strenuous and decided to take Sawyer and
Drover with us and drive out the road on the mainland to
Eagle Beach. It is about a 35-mile drive from our house and
north of Juneau. We were hoping to possibly spot some bears,
especially some brown bears as they have been spotted in
Eagle beach is a state park so we packed light. We got to the
parking lot of the campground and headed out. The scenery there is amazing with views of North Pass and the Chilkat Mountain Range. We took our time and meandered around the shore, taking well-established trails. It is the middle of the salmon runs and many are already over so the trails and
area are littered with dead salmon and there are bear trails
all over the place. It is definitely a place to be very bear aware.
We arrived at low tide so there was a lot of beach. Our hike
out took us across a small creek where there were still
spawning salmon in the shallows. Drover even was startled by
one as he wandered up the creek in the water and didn't
notice the salmon at his feet. When the salmon got startled
and moved, Drover shot out of the creek like a rocket. We
made our way around the beach of eagle river and were now
at the shore of the ocean where there were a ton of people
enjoying the afternoon. After some time and pleasant conversation with the other folks there we decide to reverse our trek and make our way back to the car.
The way back was uneventful until we reached the creek we had crossed coming out. Tide was in and unless we wanted to swim across the creek, we weren't going to be able to go that way. So back we went. This time we had to hike out the road and take the road back to the car, this detour added an extra mile or so to the walk, we even ran into a road kill porcupine. The dogs were hot and tired and because I packed light, I forgot the dogs water bowl and they were thirsty. Normally, finding water is not an issue here, we are a rainforest after all. The only fresh water creek was now filled with saltwater due to tide coming in. Not a huge problem, we just had to improvise a water bowl. So I dug a small hole in the sand and got out a unused poop bag, rolled the top of the poop bag down to make a shallow bowl, placed it in the hole I dug and poured water in it. It worked like a charm, Les Stroud, Cody Lundine and Bear Grylls would have been proud.
Check out the slideshow below, there are photos of the Chilkat mountain range, spawning salmon, glaciers and more.
middle aged in the last frontier
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