and it’s title is something like “Easy Day Hikes Around Anchorage”
The booklet (as it really is more a of a booklet than a full fledged book) is very cute and has lovely little descriptions of hikes easily done in an afternoon or evening. If you are 40 lbs overweight and you doggy hiking companion has a bit of arthritis, this is the book for you. As I fit well into those parameters, it is also the book for me.
On Friday afternoon we decided to take on the hike at Baldy Mountain. 2 miles up and back, with an elevation rise of 1200 ft, sounded like just the thing.
We parked the car and trotted off to the trailhead. The path was nice and wide and we saw loads of relaxed people heading back to their cars. They weren’t even sweating! This was certainly the hike for me! We walked a little ways, and came upon a little pond with a spring fed pump. Continuing on up the path, we explored a couple of old rotting cabins, and an abandoned water tank. Dave gave the kids lessons in local flora and then we came to a T in the path.
A decision had to be made, to the right or to the left, oh which way should we go???
Well, with all my mountaineering knowledge and skills, I decided that because the peak of Baldy was in front of us, and a little to the right, we should go right, as obviously going left would take us away from the mountain and that would be silly.
So we followed the trail to the right, and about 30 yards later, the trail began to fade and became more of a foot path, when we could even find that. Up and up and up we went, searching for the trail, occasionally finding places that looked like MAYBE someone stepped there. About 1/2 way up the mountain, as the sweat was running down my face and back, and as my nose began to run due to exertion, I began to think horrible thoughts about the author of our little booklet.
Easy!?!? Whatever. At times we were climbing hand over hand! More than once I looked down and thought, “well, I better not fall, because that is rather steep and nothing to stop me from rolling all the way down” Most of the ground had moss and grass cover, but there were spots, especially as we got closer to the summit, where it was just rock, and often loose gravelly rock that that threatened to give way. Prompting more images in my head of a tumble ALL the way down to the trailhead.
We got to the top, eventually, we crested the last little ridge, we looked down, and saw a lovely wide path that meandered across the tundra and gently made it’s way to the point we were standing at, coming up from the left.