This trip has been superb (minus some bad weather in Denali). On our last day, we did one final trail which I had been looking forward to almost as much as Harding Ice Trail: Crow Pass. Now, the FULL ON Crow Pass Trail is 24 miles or so and requires some real technical skill like going through rivers. We obviously weren't doing that- we were doing a 6.2 mile offshoot of the trail which is way up in the mountains. It was a perfect sunny day and this trail did not disappoint. It was everything the photos online promised: giant, steep, dramatic hillsides, some changing color in the rocks, a beautiful glacial lake and stream at the end where there's a lean-to style cabin. The only thing we didn't see were mountain goats. We left our bear spray at the end of the trail because we didn't end up using it. Perhaps another group will take it and use it themselves. Images below- this hike was stunning. Maybe the prettiest of all the hikes I've done in Alaska.
I'll end this series with my absolute favorite poem by Robert Service: The Land of Beyond
Have you ever heard of the Land of Beyond,
That dream at the gates of the day?
Alluring it lies at the skirts of the skies,
And ever so far away;
Alluring it calls: O ye yoke of galls!
And ye of the trails overfond
With saddle and pack, by paddle and track, Let’s go to the Land of Beyond!
Have ever you stood where the silences brood,
And vast the horizons begin,
At the dawn of the day to behold far away
The goal you would strive for and win?
Yet ah! in the night when you gain to the height,
With the vast pool of heaven star-spawned,
Afar and agleam, like a valley of dream,
Still mocks you the Land of Beyond.
Thank God! there is always the Land of Beyond
For those who are true to the trail;
A vision to seek, a beckoning peak,
A farn-ess that never will fail;
A pride in our soul that mocks at a goal,
A manhood that irks at a bond,
And try how we will, unattainable still,
Behold it, our Land of Beyond!