Solo Chick Alaska Adventure

I'm making one of my dreams come true by doing a solo chick adventure to Alaska. I’ll chronicle my trip here.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Hiking in Alaska’s Rainforest

Today is my day “off.” I didn’t plan any activities and am just relaxing and enjoying the fresh air and natural ambience. This whole week has been an adventure but an exhausting one. My body clock seems confused by all the daylight. I can fall asleep fine – pass out from all the energy spent during the day. But I wake up at 5 and can’t go back to sleep, which is annoying. Yet still I take in all that I can of Alaska!

Wednesday I hiked the Winner Creek Trail through the rainforest in Girdwood in a small group with a terrific guide named Shannon. You may be surprised to hear that there’s a rainforest in Alaska but there’s a big one – North America's Northern most rainforest! It gets enough rain to qualify and the growth is lush, like other rainforests I’ve seen.

I got there early and took the tram with Turi, who I met here, high up onto Mount Alyeska. It originates in the Alyeska Prince Hotel and Ski Resort near Girdwood. It provided a gorgeous view of the surrounding area. Then we took the tram down in time for our hike.

Shannon was the guide for 4 of us. She’s originally from Connecticut but considers herself an Alaskan after being here for 11 years. She was a terrific guide, pointing out all the details that I’d have never noticed had I just hiked on my own. We could feel the ambience of a rainforest as we walked and saw all the greenery that’s special in a rainforest. We could also feel Shannon’s passion for all of nature’s bounty in this forest and got excited with her.

The hiking wasn’t hard, though there were some steeper portions. Once special thing was that in places that would have been very muddy, crews put down wooden boardwalks that made it easier to walk on. They want even people in wheelchairs to experience at least part of this lovely hike. We saw mushrooms growing on trees and interesting formations in the bark of some. Shannon was very knowledgeable and explained what everything was. It was fun to get out for some exercise in this lovely place and learn so much about this rainforest.

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