Thursday, September 07, 2006

The view from up here

Look fast. It goes quick.

Peak-bagging in Juneau could be a good analogy for life. You toil up the steep an muddy trail, mind fixed on the prize, focused on the trail ... only to look up at some random point and realize that the surrounding world is completely shrouded in fog, you have no idea where you are, and all this time, you've been laboring toward something you'll never have. Good lesson. Disappointing hike.

Not really, though. We hit the Mount Roberts trail late in the day with no real intention of making it to the top. But after we passed treeline, there was always the hope of finding that ever-elusive view. Unfortunately, right about the time we left the forest canopy, we met the cloud canopy. The initial contact point was an interesting sensation - walking into swirling wisps of visibility-obstructing gray vapor, then emerging into a colorful, wide-open sightline. Eventually, though, we were high enough in the cloud that the only things we could see - those things immediately in front of us - looked dreary and cold. We turned around.

Mount Roberts is interesting, because about two miles up the trail you reach the top of a huge tram that carts tourists up from the cruise ships. We stopped in on our way back down the trail, dripping cloud condensation and scraping our mud-coated shoes across the carpet. We were at that point a couple hours into our "wilderness" hike, suddenly browsing books and Tlingit trinkets in the climate-controlled confines of a huge gift shop. I was able to stop in at a full-service restroom, rehydrate at a drinking fountain, and continue on down the rugged trail. Someday, I plan to go back up and try the salmon burger. Hey, if you can't hike for the view ...

Today is my "Labor Day." (Ug. I can't believe I just said that. It used to drive me crazy when friends who had unconventional days off would call random days like Tuesday "My Friday." Now, I'm one of them.) Anyway, I have Thursday and Friday off, so I'm feeling guilty for not doing something more productive or adventurous with my three-day weekend. But maybe tomorrow I'll find a dresser. I wonder how that would look on top of my car.


  1. i was on that tram, this past summer and i was that tourist coming from the cruise ship. the trails looked awesome there but being from a city and hearing there's been a cub sighting in the area, i wimped out and only looked at that eagle and read the bear waraning signs. i did later see momma bear trek up that side of mtn. she was quite big!

    dirty bert

  2. Wow, you've got some great pictures on here. Really beautiful! I'll be back...

  3. Wow I have to get back to the west coast to hike more. I have only done some limited stuff in CA and Vancouver...

  4. I hope you'll post the pic of dresser atop car. It won't be as pretty as your many lovely photos, but it'll be . . . interesting?


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