Friday, February 24, 2012

Lost and Found: Two.

Breakfast was brief and to the point, partially due to our dry camp, but largely (so it seemed to me) because we were all still jazzed to see what lay around the next bend.

Just a few hundred meters from camp the Situk River crossed our path, necessitating use of our little boats.

A pattern established itself quickly: Eric would inflate his boat most of the way, toss his bike haphazardly across the bow, then slide in and paddle across, full on disaster style, while the rest of us looked on slackjawed or fumbled with our pack straps.

By the time any of us even had our boats inflated, Eric would be across, packed up, and scouting the next section.

Here Doom and Eric kill time waiting for me to quit screwing around with the camera.

Dictionary definition for today's riding would simply be: interesting. There was always something happening, never too exciting, just enough to command your attention and focus here, now.

Through the morning we picked our way through driftwood laced dunes and across micro sized tidal sloughs. We saw terns and gulls, pipers and plover, discussed isopods and apopods, and were constantly surrounded by eagles.

I did my best to follow the leads of the others. Like Dylan, here, in silent contemplation of where we were.

Or Roman inspecting and speculating on the tracks of bears.

Lest things get too serious, Doom was always there to break things up with a lowbrow joke--the best kind.

Noonish we arrived at the Dangerous River, crossing a long tidal flat before touching tidewater.

I'd been warned (by whom I couldn't remember) about big currents near the mouth of the river, and was relieved to follow Dylan and Eric a bit upstream before inflating boats to cross.

They were always there, watching.

The paddle across was uneventful--serving merely to break up the pedaling.

Late afternoon we stopped, built a fire, had coffee and snacks and even micro naps.

Interesting riding continued into the evening.

Always something new to see, admire, discuss.

Around 8 the clouds released the sun, illuminating our world with what I can only refer to as 'god light'. Seemed like about the same time the beach became even firmer and smoother. We swooped and carved, laughing and dodging the incoming waves with meager success.

Just before ten someone suggested calling it a day, and we all instantly veered 90 degrees left to look for a suitable spot.

Maybe 15 minutes later the tents were up and water was heating over the driftwood fire. Mount St. Elias is the 18,000' pyramid beyond Eric's 'mid.

Campfire talk took us past the eleven-thirty-ish sunset and on into the night.