The picture (above) was taken from the top of one of many sets of stairs you can find around the city that connects one road with another through the back hilly section of Juneau. This picture is looking down over the stairs, and the road view, all the way from the top of Juneau down to the Gastineau Channel at the bottom.
The State Capital building
I took a picture of this little house because it was one of the homes I had been looking at on the internet, and I just happened unexpectedly to come across it in my travels this morning. I'm sure it's a nice little house but take a look at the distance between the roof line of the yellow house and the roof line of the blue house beside it. No no no. That will never work. The front yard (such as it is) from the house to the little picket fence is only a couple of feet. Do people really live like this? Really? I don't remember off-hand what the asking price for this house is, but you cannot find a detached house for under $225,000 in Juneau. No. That would never work.........
After wandering higher into the back section of Juneau I eventually made it to where I think I subconsciously was drawn to from the get-go. Basin Rd which leads to (among others) Perseverance Trail. There is also a house on Basin Rd that I have been eyeing since I was first offered my new job a few months ago. A run down, large home that leads directly to the trails and that has definate possibilities. Perhaps. At some point in the future when the future on a personal level is a little more predictable than it is now.
At this point on Basin Rd I was only 5 minutes from homes and town, and yet it quickly became obvious as I continued travelling down this paved/gravel road, that the area up ahead would become increasingly rugged. From the vantage point of this bridge the mountains lay more than 3000 feet in the air directly on both sides of me, I was surrounded by towering pine trees (so big that I could not capture them with my camera) and a fast moving stream raged below me.
And I was completely unprepared for such impending ruggedness.
What the heck was wrong with me? My outdoor clothing and much of my outdoor gear (including first aid kit, whistle, knife, compass, headlamps etc) had indeed arrived at the hotel. Why hadn't I dug that stuff out if I was going to be walking in such areas? Why was I out there without food? When I was already undernourished from little food over the past couple of days? Come on Karin - get it together woman.............
It doesn't show up well in this picture, but part of the swollen stream raging below me
After walking on gravel and black top for a while I veered onto one of the trails (Mt Roberts) and hesitatingly started to climb. The elevation gain was steep, and the easy-on-the-legs pine needle and moss covered trail was also filled with large amounts of exposed tree roots, making the walking challenging.
Everything in this town is covered in moss, and that includes everything on the trails - the trees, the rocks, the roots - everything. It was a beautiful rugged trail (and yet again, another sign of my lack of preparation is that my camera battery died during the hike), but I was very aware of the fact that this was prime bear country. And with temperatures in the low 40's right now I wondered if there was a possibility I might waken a slumbering 4-legged beast.
Thankfully no bear sightings, but I ended up cutting the walk way too short. After being out and about for only 3 hours I headed back to town to find food, but also with the new resolution in my mind that I will not wander again without better preparation. I should know better. I do know better.
As beautiful as this area is, and as quickly as you can transition from populated areas to isolated wilderness areas in Juneau I need to carry the right gear for such adventures.