Last Saturday afternoon my Mountain Boy and I decided to walk to Herbert Glacier.
Even though the trail is a very open and relatively flat gravel trail close to home, it is about 4 1/2 miles to the glacier, and we did not hit the trail head until 3:45pm.
LC is still recovering from a knee injury but wanted to make it to the glacier so we established a fairly fast pace right from the get-go.
I say a fairly fast pace - my Mountain Boy good naturedly accused me of establishing a forced march.
Regardless, we set in determined to make it to the glacier, and then get back off the trail before dark.
Even though we were goal oriented on our walk, we took a minute to take a picture of my favorite old car, that I unexpectedly and excitedly came across during my first solo visit to this trail a few months ago.
My old, rusty, bullet ridden vehicle still continues to facinate me, and studying it brings all kinds of scenarios to mind as to how it ended up 1/2 mile onto the trail.
My possible scenarios usually involve illegal activity......
Jamie first came into my life unexpectedly when I lived on a quiet country road in middle Tennessee about seven years ago.
Even though I did not want a dog, we had adopted a pup from the Humane Society when we first moved to Tennessee - the end result of a promise I had made to my animal adoring youngest son.
I had not wanted a dog originally, but Roxy quickly became a beloved member of our family.
My son Chris adored her and took her everywhere he went.
A few years later a young dog showed up on our doorstep, having been abandoned in the country by its owner, as many dogs were in rural Tennessee.
I did not want another dog, and told both of the boys not to feed her or give her water.
I assumed that she would soon move on to someone elses home if we did not give her what she needed.
A day later she was still hanging around, healthy and happily bouncing on all fours around the yard like Tigger from the Winnie the Pooh cartoons.
The boys were wavering, drawn to her energy and very cute ways, and by the end of that day were begging me to let them give her food and water. I told them no.
The next day the boys and I came home from work and school and the dog was still hanging around the yard.
Again I told the boys to leave her be, still trying to believe at that point that she would move on.
Chris had a habit when he got home from school of pulling off his winter hat and his Vanderbilt jacket, and throwing them down on the back porch.
That second night, on a cold January evening, I looked out the window and saw this abandoned dog, who refused to move on, pulling the jacket and hat together into a pile and then resting her head on it.
My heart melted just a bit, watching this unknown and unloved animal trying to make a warm and comfortable place for itself on our back porch.
And then a few hours later I looked out the window again and saw her licking ice off the porch.
I could not take it anymore.
I took her out a bowl of water, and a bowl of food, and she became part of our family in that moment.
A few days later I drove her to the vet and she promptly threw up in the back seat of my car.
But she was a healthy dog, we brought her into our house, and we named her Jamie.
After the boys had grown up and left the house, and after my divorce, Jamie came with me to my new home.
And when she met LC and he became a part of our lives, she welcomed him into our home.
Since she arrived in Juneau Jamie has gone everywhere we go, and whenever we take her for walks on trails she insists on walking in front of both of us.
Whenever she stops to sniff whatever it is she smells along the trails, she always runs to quickly not only catch up but to walk in front of us, leading the way.
We good naturedly have taken to calling her "Point Dog"........
This particular trail begins, during the first two miles or so, as a trail completely covered on both sides with thick undergrowth and an abundance of devils' club.
After those first couple of miles, it quickly changes from a typical rainforest to a more sub-alpine environment - a combination of less undergrowth, thick moss that covers everything, and pine trees.
In the summertime in Juneau, dense undergrowth is a bit unnerving because bears are so difficult to see until they are right on top of you.
I feel more comfortable in moss and pine trees.
It is more open, prettier, quieter, welcoming..........
A short rest stop at a quiet and beautiful pond before moving on again.
We had a glacier to find.........
There is almost no incline on this trail, but as we progressed the air temperature began to drop.
After a very closed in trail at the start, and then a more progressively open trail once we hit pine trees, we finally began to see what I feel such a need to see when I walk - water and mountains.
We were getting closer, and I could feel the excitement.
The glacier was close. The trail was beautiful. For a while I felt free..........
The last half mile of the trail, before reaching the glacier, we were walking on a narrow and gnarly trail with a beautiful rock face to our left, and the beautiful and fast moving river to our right.........
And about an hour and 45 minutes from when we started in on the trail, we made it to Herbert Glacier.
This glacier is not as overwhelming beautiful as Mendenhall Glacier is.
But I love it simply because it is beautiful in a quieter and more humble way.
Because it is not as accessible to the masses as Mendenhall.
Because you have to really want to see it, to actually see it. You have to walk to it, or ride a bike to it, and because the helicoptors quickly skip over it as they travel on the way to the "big one"..........
We only stayed at the glacier for 15 minutes. We were running out of daylight, and although we had headlamps with us, neither one of us wanted to be on the trail after dark.
Pictures of very early Fall in Juneau.
More leaves are turning color here than in most of Juneau, most likely because of the cooler temperatures.
As I stood at Herbert Glacier I wistfully looked at the surrounding mountains and wished I was in them.
But trees all over the hills and mountains are beginning to fade in color, and yellow is becoming more common now than it was just a few short weeks ago.........
We made it out with some daylight still remaining, but not a whole lot.
By the time we arrived back at the car Point Dog was very tired and I think a little sore.
I think that this may have been the longest walk she has ever taken, and for the next couple of days after our adventure she spent a lot of time sleeping on the couch.
Point Dog was wiped out, but as of today she has finally returned to her normal, bouncing, eager and enthusiastic self again.
A big adventure for an aging now-Alaskan pup..........
Pain reaches the heart with electrical speed, but truth moves to the heart as slowly as a glacier......