Sometime in the middle of May I called my friend Vicki, “Hey Vicki! We’re coming into town Memorial Day weekend, do you want to hang out?”
We then spent some time on the phone chatting about different adventures we could go on: down to Homer, up to Talkeetna, backpacking in the Chugach State Park, etc. Vicki and I were both pretty excited about having an extended period of time off from work and getting outside. We had ambitious plans to spend the whole weekend outside backpacking and camping. (We do know each other from the Dartmouth Outing Club after all.)
Friday evening we flew from Unalakleet to Anchorage. Vicki completely surprised us and met us at the airport!!! As we waited for Kyle to get the Jeep out of storage we continued to discuss options for an outdoor adventure.
“Well,” I said hesitantly, “Since we’re about to start a long road trip we don’t want to drive too far out of town. Also, Thunder is pretty sick, so he can’t walk very far.”
“Ok, let’s see what the weather tomorrow is like and how long it takes you guys to get your errands done, and then we’ll decide. We can definitely still camp out for just Saturday night and have a bunch of fun.” Vicki replied.
Due to various factors- rain, Thunder being super sick, Vicki’s lack of a tent- we ended up staying in on Saturday.
Man, what happened to the adventure buddies who once drove 5 hours to hike up a mountain to be the first people on the East Coast to see the sunrise?
Sunday we woke up determined to get outside. Luckily, the weather was in our favor, it was warm and sunny out (rare for Anchorage). Our first stop was Thunderbird Falls, a convenient 20 miles north of Town. We all enjoyed the 1 mile walk up to see the waterfall. Although perhaps Thunder enjoyed it the most. The trail was very busy with lots of families out enjoying the first real day of summer. I swear that every group of people we passed complimented Thunder on his looks. In addition, all the little kids asked to pet him.
Worn out from the walking and all the attention Thunder stayed in the car at our next stop, Eklutna Lake. Vicki and I walked to the lake while Kyle and Thunder took an afternoon nap. This left Vicki and I free to take goofy pictures and get all muddy as we walked around the lake.
Eventually, it was time to drive back to Anchorage. As we drove back we felt satisfied that we had gotten outside and enjoyed the day. It didn’t even matter that we hadn’t done a hardcore backpacking trip, we were all happy.
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