McHugh traverse: A nonstop natural high.

Why Alaska?  It’s the most common question I’ve heard this past year.  And while I try not to repeat myself too much, mountains usually figure somewhere in my answer.

And this past Saturday was a great time in the mountains.  I hiked a traverse with some friends from work.  It started with a big 90-minute climb, then a hike along the ridge up to McHugh peak and then back down, crossing snow fields and an old airstrip to where the second car was waiting.  With cold beer. Oh happiness.

The hike was awesome, a nonstop natural high.  We had silly stupid grins on our faces the whole time.

No small part of our joy was the clear sky, bright sun, and warm temperatures.  Especially the warm temperatures.  We’ve been having a bit of a heat wave this past week.  Temperatures have been in the high seventies, even reaching the eighties which – from what more seasoned residents tell me – is unheard of here.  I’ve even heard complaints that it’s too hot.  Not from me though, promise.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

John Muir


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