Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mount Marathon Hike, Alaska by Green Edventures' Student Andy Klanderman

July 8, 2010

Hello, my name is Andy Klanderman and I live in Hudson, Wisconsin. Ever since my grandma and grandpa came back from Alaska in 2002 and brought me a picture book of Alaska I fell in love with it. It has always been my dream to go to Alaska and explore all of its wonders since then.(Photo right: Andy (the author) and fellow students Mac and Camden).
All the guys woke up this morning getting all ready for the day and then we realized that I forgot to change my clock so we got up two hours early. Started off the morning with homemade muffins and some cereal. After our stomachs were content, Tara told us we’re going to hike Mount Marathon, which was surprising for me because it’s only our second day here, but YES! J The hike was only a couple of blocks away from where we’re staying (The Moby Dick). We started the hike through the temperate rain forest which is really eerie. The tall pines block any sun from peeking in and the floor is layered with wet devil’s club (which is basically a pricker bush). As the group worked their way up the mountain, the view grew increasingly incredible. Tara told us that every look out was an even better scene than previous which encouraged all of us up the steep slopes. On the way up we were all looking around and usually guessing about all the different flowers (I got some really neat photos). We reached the bowl and it was like the gates of heaven opened. The sun shining off the snow peaks while the river rushes to meet the ocean below. The ridged rocks were extremely fun to jump on and be like a little boy again. (Photo below: Andy, Kelsey & Alex in the bowl at Mt. Marathon)

(Photo above: Andy sketching glacier features during a "class" on glaciology. We spotted two goats on the mountain and a few marmots roaming around. The decent down was a blast. Dane and I parkoured the entire way down and we felt like real MEN! (But we didn’t have any beard money) The group had the rest of the mac and cheese and chili. Next on our list was to visit a Native tribe called the Qutekcak (Cut-two-check). There we learned about the Alaskan Native Olympics game. It’s so intense. The sports represent the ways of the nativces. Camden made it and succeeded through all of the different sports. After the culture shock we had free time which we used to our advantage… of course. The guys went down to check out the harbor which again is like a totally different world. The smell hit us all hard when we sucked in the fish and salt water aromas. As our eyes were checking every sail and boat out we had to pinch ourselves to remind us that this is REAL and not just a dream. Once free time was up, we headed back to the hostel for supper (stir-fry). The last adventure of the day was Exit Glacier. We took the van over there which was nice because we got to see a part of Seward we haven’t seen before. We traveled through the hills until we got to the glaciers. It was like we were looking at a calendar-the river flowing free from beneath the glacier’s tight grip. Tara gave us some really cool and helpful facts about glaciers, but it was different than other regular facts because it wasn’t just word, we could honestly see what we were learning about. Such as fun filled adventure day! Thanks Alaska.

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