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Haines Hike to Mt Riley Summit

Thursday, July 19, 2007

sunny 0 °F

It’s 5am and several diesel trucks already have their engines running in the campground! Turns out that the Excel RV caravan needs to be at the ferry dock by 6am, so 19 diesel trucks are starting up, hooking up to their 5th wheels, and lining up to leave the campground. Very noisy. At 5am it’s already sunny (no clouds, that is very, very good; but not appreciated so much at 5am), so by 6:15 when I still can’t get back to sleep I get up for the day. By 7am the construction workers are knocking down trees and moving dirt next to the campground, but Jere and Joe stay asleep – sure wish I could :-)

This is the nicest day weather-wise that we’ve had in a month, so we take a walk down the visitors center and the small harbor area of Haines.
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We drove to the ferry terminal yesterday to get our tickets for Saturday, but they were closed, so we drive back today to pick up our ferry tickets. We want to make sure that everything is set for us taking the RV on the ferry this Saturday and it is, so we go back to have a good lunch before our hike.

The visitors’ center attendant recommended the hike to Mt. Riley summit. It’s supposed to take about 3.5 hours—it takes us about 4.5 hours plus 30 minutes at the top.
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I think we may have pushed our physical limits today. The hike is 2.8 miles to the summit, steep, and washed out/eroded many places. We see bear tracks in the mud and do lots of talking or singing during the hike so we don’t surprise any bears on the trail.
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We also see moose tracks and droppings high up in the mountain – what is a moose doing way up here?!

We have good hiking boots on and Joe is fine, but Jere & I are exhausted by the time we make it to the top. HOWEVER, the view at the top is absolutely awesome! We can see the Lynn Canal in both directions, plus the rivers and glaciers in the area.
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We spend about 30 minutes at the top having snacks and taking pictures.
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The hike down is easier than the hike up, but still slow. It’s steep and slippery at places with lots of exposed tree roots where the dirt has eroded away from.
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By the time we get to the truck, we (that would be Jere & I, not Joe—Joe has lots of energy left and seemed to be dancing/jumping down the mountain) practically crawl into the truck. Jere drives back to the campground and we all head for the showers – we (again, that would be ‘Jere & I’) were sweating like pigs for the last half of the hike up the mountain, plus we’re coated with insect repellent.

We have a late dinner and don’t move the rest of the evening.

Posted by jengelman 13:45 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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Comments

Wow- I had a lot to read to catch up. As always the pictures are just awesome. So sorry to hear you had tire trouble, but at least there wasn't more damage and no one was hurt- most importantly. I love the "family picture", it is great to see you Claire, since you are usually the one taking the pictures. Joe, I love the shorts while playing in the snow picture- hope you had fun throwing snowballs. And Jere-, great picture of you at the Alaska sign (I didn't want to leave you out. LOL). Well, looks like the Engelmans are doing just great- hope you continue to have sunny weather!

as always safe travel.
Robin

by imrobin

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