It was awesome up there. So here is the story!!!
Cottonwood trail is a 4-6 day, permit only, hike. We decided that we didn't want to do that!
This is our trail.
The trip is about 4 hours per the information that we found. Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!!! We left about 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. (9 is AK time and 10 is local time). We got back about 2 p.m AK time.
Here we go! This trail has the requisite “bear trap for humans” roots across the trail in the wooded area. I expected to trip and fall on one of these, but luck was with me.
Caught this guy going across the trail. Sure is pretty. Anyone know what it's future will be?
Every once in a while you would have a small break and could see the lake or part of it. However, the farther up you went the more you could view. This was going to be awesome.
Beautiful day for a hike.
We kept climbing. Liz was leading and I did require stops every once in a while. Okay, frequently. Had to catch my breath. I blamed it on the altitude. When you are used to 50’ then anything over that is a little taxing. At the Throne it is about 4200’ with the elevation gain at 1800’. So we are high to start with and going higher. That’s my story and I am sticking to it!
Then we broke through the tree line! Did I say this was Awesome?!!
The climbing got to be a little more difficult, too. We continued climbing. Stopped for Liz to eat her sandwich. I really couldn’t do much more than crackers as I had been trying to drink plenty of water to keep the cramping away or down.
The going got a little tough and I was leaning forward to where I am sure folks thought I was crawling. Just trying to keep the center balance and moving forward and upward. For perspective, there is a young man down at the bottom of the hill and then he got up and moved a little and then he was above us.
We were able to Suite Pea and Sport down at the campground. I also have shots from the campground up to about where we were (I think) that I took after we got back.
This is the throne from the back of Suite Pea.
Took a break here and took this shot. Kind of neat actually. Liz asked a couple of times if I was ready to go back. She was up on this top ridge and was having difficulty keeping her balance.
She said “Okay, it isn’t worth the risk of injury to keep on going”. I think we were probably less than 1/4 mile from the ‘cirque’ (seat) but I wasn’t sure I could make it. So we agreed to start down. Now keep in mind, sometimes it is harder to go down than up. Your center is leaning back and the heels may slide on the scree!
Luck and the Good Lord was with us and we made it down to the bottom much quicker than I thought we would. Then of course, I took the fall!! My friend, Liz, captured the resulting fall by camera, but neither of us saw the blood until later. There is a stream that is in the road and the paths run on either side of the road. Liz went left and I went right. I slipped on the muddy bank and fell. Oh, gosh, I was so tired and we were off the bone breaking trail, that I let up on the concentration. Too bad, continue walking home, find the bloody hand, wash off the blood, wipe off the dirt from your pants, pick the rocks out of your shoes, take a shower and then fix dinner.
It was a great hike. I am so sore that I may not be able to get out of bed once I put myself down.
Tomorrow we move to Million Dollar Falls campground and then a hike near the falls. Check the next post to see if I made that one, too!