Today was one of the days that I was most excited for on our honeymoon. We were heading down toward Seward to ride the Lost Lake Trail (http://www.mtbproject.com/trail/5532161). Not only was the trail supposed to be amazing but the drive itself was one of a kind as well.
We went back to our little breakfast place and split a meal this time. We had been extra hungry the day before and still barely finished our meals. The split was perfect.
The drive took an hour and a half. We found ourselves constantly looking at the mountains in awe of the glaciers and just the sheer size and steepness of the slopes. We also we’re shocked to find that the road was able to stay in the valley and was therefore much easier to drive than your standard mountain road.
I was somewhat nervous about finding the trailhead but turns out it was clearly marked and easy to get to. We rolled into the large parking lot of the TH and we’re pedaling away a little bit after 11 am.
The trail starts off in a dense and lush forest. The riding was not very different from Colorado but the scenery was widely different. No where in Colorado are the plants as big and green as they were here.
The trail quickly makes it’s way to treeline (helps when it is around 2,000 feet not 12,000 feet above sea level). There are several creek crossings as well as one waterfall crossing. More on that later.
You soon find yourself on the side of slope, steadily freeing yourself from the trees. As you do that, more and more of the alpine becomes available to your eyes. Once we hit the ridge, we were greeted with 360 degree views of beautiful high peaks. Some had glacier filled valleys. Otherwise were bare and we frantically searched them for any sign of wildlife. To our backs was the small town of Seward and Resurrection Bay.
It took us 2:05 to reach the lake. Not sure whether it was the 29 inch wheels or the low elevation, but we had no trouble climbing. Now the new challenge, descending on those same 29 inch wheels.
The descent was flowy and smooth. There were the occasional technical spots but nothing sustained. It was nice to be able to open it up in the openness of the alpine tundra. In Colorado, you’d be dodging rocks left and right!
The descent was relatively smooth…except for one spot.
Christine may or may not have struggled to clip in and proceeded to roll off the side of the trail (it was a very cliffy section, the picture doesn’t do it justice). Thankfully, she was able to use the prickly bushes to stop her fall and she only went a few feet down. Don’t worry, I asked if she was OK before I took the picture!
We quickly found ourselves back in the forest and were once again amazed at the scale of the trees as well as the color of the plants. The mosquitos were no joke as well.
Towards the end of the ride, I wanted to ride the waterfall. I didn’t think it would be too challenging, but having falling water next to you is definitely a distraction. I was not successful.
3 hours and 15 minutes after leaving the car, we arrived back at the trailhead. 14.4 miles had been challenging but we felt great! We headed down to Seward for some beers and lunch (in that order).
We found our way into the Seward Brewing Company (http://www.sewardbrewery.com) which only had a few of it’s own beers on tap as well as a lot of Alaskan guest taps, but their food was delicious. We quickly took down a salmon sandwich and Rockfish tacos. Their building also has a tremendous amount of history that I encourage you to ask about when you go.
We took a couple minutes to walk around town but it had grown very windy and cold so that idea was short-lived.
We packed up the car and got back on the Seward Highway. Absent the pressure of getting our ride in, we felt like we had a lot more time to explore. We capitalized on that opportunity by getting some fudge!
Yes it is self-serve. Yes the expect you to pay by holding you accountable to the honor system. Yes it was delicious.
We found our way back into Girdwood and relaxed for a bit before heading out for dinner. First we stopped by the Silvertip Grill (http://www.silvertipgrill.com) for a couple of beers. For those of you who know Crested Butte, this is the Brown Lab of Alyeska. We discovered that if you both order the same beer (an 8.2% IPA), the server will suggest you get a pitcher. When you get a pitcher of 8.2% IPA…things escalate.
Picture to come later when WordPress allows.
We then headed over to Chair 5 (http://www.chairfive.com) for some food. Sticking with the Crested Butte references, this is the Avy of Alyeska. Decent burgers and pizza for cheap. Although it isn’t close to the Avy’s slices! Anyway, our evening draws to an end here, but not before we meet Kirby. Kirby took his boat over from the Homer area and his lasting piece of advice is that “Everything is shittier in Whittier.” Why does this matter? Tomorrow we head to Whittier to go paddle boarding!