What to do with a gimpy knee day? A friend of a friend is in town from D.C., and we have been trying to help her along the fast track tour of everything Juneau. Wednesday night it was dancing at The Alaskan with the rockabilly sounds and Janet Jackson costumes of the Glorious Youth Parade. After the show, several dozen spectators poured into the street with donated hula-hoops, swiveling the after hours away in some kind of strange Alaska-flavored luau. Today we promised her a good hike, but she is too gimpy herself (with a sprained ankle) to do much walking. She stayed in town, but the two Geoffs and I still went. Today we hit Sheep Creek trail, another new one for me.
I discovered the trail is actually a delicious stretch of grass-covered singletrack, hidden deep in a beautiful highland meadow. The only catch? Getting a bike up there would require a gruelling 3/4-mile hike-a-bike that really redefines hike-a-bike (meaning, you'd probably have to put the bike on your back as you scrambled up near-vertical stretches of root-covered trail.) But for the dearth of smooth trail in Juneau, it may actually be worth it. I pondered the effort as we walked, slowly, without time limits, fitness goals or even a destination.
We took our D.C. visitor out to North Douglas tonight to roast up the salmon she caught in Ketchikan, accompanied by feta-and-olive pasta salad, blueberry-and-melon fruit salad, veggie burgers, basil-roasted peppers and onions, cous cous and apple pie (what could be more American then apple pie on the beach in July?) As the sun began to slip behind the horizon, a bald eagle coasted by, clasping a large, still-flopping salmon in its talons. We explained to our guest how rare her particular Juneau experience really was, with its nearly-dry weather, quirky bar music, crazy hula hoopers and quiet sunsets that bathed the beach in pink light. "It really doesn't get much better than this," we said.
It just kept getting better.