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Michael Quinn - Appalachian Trail Journal - 2010

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Journalist
City: fairbanks
State: alaska
Country: USA
Begins: Mar 20, 2010
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Aug 11th, 2009
Start: Skagway
End: Bennett Lake
Daily Distance: 8
Trip Distance: 41.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 278
Journal Visits: 278
Guestbook Views: 12
Guestbook Entrys: 0

Appalachian Trail Map

Chilkoot trail

Just completed a warm up hike on the southesat coastal area of alaska. The weather was outstanding as we began our trip on the inside passage on the Alaska ferry. The sun was high and the sky was deep blue. The upper deck was a wash with sunbathers as we made our way to Haines and then onto Skagway. The snow capped mountains and blue glaciers shone both near and far. Bald eagles glided along the thermal updrafts and otters as well as orcas graced the still waters between the rising mountains. The 80 degree cloudless weather followed our group up and over the chilkoot pass and all the way into the prestine wilderness of Canada's Yukon wilderness. We hiked through rich healthy forest with numerous rivers, streams and waterfalls. The trail is well maintained and the management efforts to keep the impact of hikers to a minimum has kept the 33 miles of trail clean and enjoyable. The limitations on hikers on the trail at one time prevents the overcrowding and unnecessary destruction of vegitation areas that would be needed if numbers weren't managed. The hike has its difficulties as you climb 3000 ft with most of it within a 5 mile stretch. The scenery is spectacular. The beauty keeps coming at you. The tougher the hike the prettier it becomes. Glaciers melting beneath the heat of the day as does the remains of last winters snows that have collected deep into the many gorges and valleys on the north side of the pass. Water, clean and ice cold rush from the heights that encircle the hiker making its way down the mountains sides eventually collecting in the glacially fed torrents of water cascading towards the sea or falling into the many lakes and ponds that make up the summit. The melt water streams fill the lakes which then drain into other lakes and eventually drain further north where it finally drains into the mighty Yukon River many miles north of Bennett lake. The water follows the same route that 10's of thousands of prospectors did in 1898 when they made there way to the Klondike in the gold rush days.
This was my first extended nights hike in many years and I learned a great deal that will help me prepare for my thru in 2010. All aspects of what is required are under scrutiny and all options are open for discussion. Many folks carried many differant brands of equipment and ate many sorts of foods. Often times we seek to find superior products when we compare gear and such but I have found that personal preferance with proper fit, comfort and ease of use is crucial when you must depend on having all you need right there on your back. Don't be so light that you do without or so heavy that the weight of what you think you need becomes the greatest burden of all. Hikers like to talk about their gear. I will try to get in a couple more hikes before winter settles in. I will seek out some heavily traveled trails so that I can continue to find out what others are doing and using.

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AKer On The AT

The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) is more than 2,175-mile long footpath stretching through 14 eastern states from Maine to Georgia. Conceived in 1921 and first completed in 1937, it traverses the wild, scenic, wooded, pastoral, and culturally significant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Learn more: www.appalachiantrail.org

 

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