After the outbound trip to Alaska, we were all anxious to get our adventure underway. We started with a trip from our hotel to my Aunt Margaret’s house so we could go to the Anchorage open air market that’s held every Saturday during the summer months. After that we drove to Chugach State Park to do a little kayaking on Eklunta Lake.
As you can see it was a gorgeous day for an open air market, my mother is the one shoveling the salmon quesadilla into her mouth and her sister (my Aunt Connie) is in the white shirt with her back to the camera. We were all pleasantly surprised by the weather, it was in the mid 70′s all day with unbelievably clear skies. The whole affair really wasn’t much more than a flea market, but it was interesting to see what some of the locals had created by hand. There were some beautiful carvings of local wild life made from whale bone and lots of jewelry crafted out of the local stone and minerals. After adding a little money to the local Anchorage economy we started out on our kayaking adventure.
Our kayaking excursion did not start well. We got confusing directions from the tour director as to where exactly we were supposed go. We were told to follow the trail and take the first path on the right, which would lead us to the beach. Following those directions did lead us to the beach beside the lake, but the kayaks where no where to be found. At first we figured they were still being used by the group before us so all we needed to do was wait for them to return. After 30 minutes it became obvious that this was an incorrect assumption. I walked back up to the office we rented the equipment from and was told the owner was down at the lake. After walking back down the path we took to the beach I could see him almost 200 yards further down from where we’d been waiting. As we began moving down the beach it became painfully clear that we were in a lot of trouble. You see, in Alaska, most lakes lie at the base of snow (or glacier) capped mountains and this lake was no exception. The melt water from these mountains completely saturates the surrounding shore. Before we had a chance to turn back and make our way to the original trail we were slipping and sliding across glacial silt that had turned to mud. It took another 30 minutes to baby-step our way across the beach until we eventually found our kayaks, which had been sitting below our line of sight the entire time. We ended up with an hour in the water, which was loads of fun, but couldn’t travel as far as we would have had we received slightly more accurate instructions. I’d love to post a few photos from inside my kayak, however, the skirt that wraps around the opening effectively prevented me from reaching my camera, which was safely tucked away in my pocket. Instead, here are a few more shots just to give you an idea of how beautiful our surroundings were.
I know most of you reading this have no idea who I am; so lets just say I am not the healthiest person nor the most physically active. One hour of constant paddling really took it’s tole, I haven’t been that sore in a long time. It didn’t help that the seat back in my kayak was loose the entire time so I had to hold myself in place while trying to control my paddling. I know it probably sounds like I only have complaints about this outing, but that’s untrue. I had an amazing time and as far as I’m concerned there couldn’t have been a better start to my Alaska adventure!
I’ll be back with Day Two soon…