We were supposed to leave at six, right when she got off work, but you know how it is. By the time we’d packed the pack, repacked the pack, and figured out who was carrying what it wasn’t anywhere near six anymore. It didn’t matter. It’s not like it’s been getting dark or anything.
Then of course there was the inevitable almost-dog fight when someones loose dogs rushed Bro. Luckily, my friend and a guy who happened to be there both rushed in and grabbed the offenders. The guy got bit a little, just a tooth scrape. The dogs owner said “Oh, you know how we Alaskans are, we don’t believe in tieing our dogs up.”
“Where I’m from dogs like that get shot if they’re running loose,” I told him. I’m such a bitch sometimes. It’s true though, in the village if a dog was loose everyone got their kids inside and if the owner didn’t show up and catch it pretty quick someone shot it. We grew up afraid to go near dogs if they were eating, in their houses, on their blankets, or laying in front of their owners. We also knew that if we did any of these things and got bit, it was our own fault.
Anyways. I digress.
We tramped through the woods a little to find the trail we’d heard about. We found the trail in a mossy clump of dry spruce and poplars littered with dogwood, and followed it up the mountain. Soon we were walking along a beautiful green stream. In this part of Alaska anyplace that’s wet is like a little rainforest. There were huge devils club and cow parsnips interwoven with water hemlock, monkshood, lupine, watermelon berries, fireweed shoots, willow, elderberry, geranium, and more.
The little stream was calling, the whole time, for us to get in her and love her. That’s how streams are, they want you to immerse yourself totally in them, in life, and once you do you have to love them. So I did.
And, since my friend was there and had a camera… there’s photographic evidence. Wanna see?
(Don’t worry, mom, I covered my boobs!)
(More pictures, of plants an stuff, later)
After some stream play we kept walking and climbing up the mountain. The trail was steep, bare shale in some places, and chest deep green in others.
The sun dipped down a little behind a mountain and something slightly dusky happened. We kept walking.
We got to the top just in time to see the sun come back up behind the mountains, which was not as glorious as it sounds since it wasn’t dark.
My friend set up her tent (I’m more of a sleeping bag and tarp kinda girl) and I built a fire and made food. As usual, I’d brought way too much food and didn’t want to pack it all out the next day. So we had hamburger, brocolli, garlic, and carrots for dinner. Then cheese and sausage and more carrots for breakfast. Then more cheese and sausage and trail mix for an early morning snack. Then butternut squash with cheese for a mid morning snack. Then, hiking down the trail, we had more cheese and sausage and trailmix…
Back in town, I stopped at the club. It’s been slow and we’re down a couple strippers. One went to the big city for the big money, another went crazy and they had the cops remove her after she threatened to burn the place down. I sat drinking an orange juice and watched the few girls who’d stuck it out this late in the night. They were sitting in a circle in front of the fake fireplace, and seemed to be praying for customers.