Tuesday, July 28, 2009
It is always a treat to see moose. They are hunted here, and they know. So i am not saying where i saw these two :) What i will say; they are way up high, above the treeline, probably at 4500 feet. In between two mountain peaks, at the head waters of a fairly big, unnamed creek.
I was standing on one peak, and as soon as mom spotted me, she moved towards the other mountain, higher yet. I think i am getting better at spotting them too, I think. Because i don't know how many i passed without seeing them. These two, as you see from the photo, quite far away from me. I saw them as spots, that didn't seem quite right, as being an attached part of the landscape, only with binoculars i see what they are.
Ahhhh, finally i spend a day up there again. On my own, which i do love, i can go exactly on my own speed, wander a little bit here or there, stop where ever i feel like it, etc.
I did see some other animals, a porcupine, that really i almost stepped on. It froze, i suppose doing so in order for me not to see it. It's house, high up the mountain in a kind of rock cave. The top of the mountain is an endless expanse of easy walking terrain, scraped smoothly by the glacier, covered with little plants. All of them in seed now. But then there is these holes of scrambled rock here and there. part of 'veins' that come down the mountain, water flowing often deep down, towards, a place like where the moose where. Sometimes the water backs up a little and creates a lovely green meadow. And that's where there are still flowers blooming. Purple larkspur, monkshood, tall jacobsladder, yellows of potentillas and buttercups, and some tiny saxifragas. And lots of wormwood, and here and there a snack for me; sorels, with beautiful red scapes.
The landscape is also scattered with big boulders. Also part of the work of the glacier., riding on top of the ice and left there when it all melted, loooong time ago.
It's a big world out there, very wide, for six hours i hiked around on top. It's not everybody's place, in a way it is very desolate. The views incredible, i saw several big lakes in the distance. And the edge of the St. Elias range, at least 120 km away.
It took me 3 hours to get up there and three hours to get back, with lots more good stories. For one the blueberries! Right at the treeline. The humongous spruce trees a little lower, with here and there pockets of flowers, the yellow arnicas for example. Happy to have some openings with big slaps of bedrock. And....then i descended yet again in the alders.(Mary what do call it again?) On the way up i had skipped them somehow.
The way i walk, i try to look for a line, and follow that, today looking at the sun (it was hot!) But i never quite know what i encounter. On the way back i ended up in tangled forest for at least 3 quarters of an hour. (a good lesson for life in general, because i don't despair, go slow and steady, and really it is beautiful, and quite varied.) After thinking (third time actually) that i should now come out by the meadow i aimed for, suddenly i see a big! familier Pine. Ahhh, good to see this old friend. And knowing that indeed i did stay right on course. Soon there's the meadow, another hour and i am at my bicycle!