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Wet Treks

04-25-2017

Ellie Bryant, Expedition Leader, Safari Endeavour

Our week aboard the Safari Endeavour started off with a healthy amount of rain.

I don’t mean the kind of rain that the lower forty-eight gets. I mean the rain that falls so hard it bounces back up to hit you twice. So, needless to say, I was dreading my first bushwhack with guests on George Island.

Bushwhacking in Alaska

We headed out and began our trek by climbing up a waterfall. I could tell that my group was apprehensive when we got to the top and one man asked, “So was that the wettest part?”

I assured him that I wouldn’t make him climb up any more waterfalls. Then, the rain lightened and we began to look around. My group was athletic enough that we made the summit on the Island and could look out on the Inian Islands and all of the fishing boats below.

Mountain Views in Alaska

The Islands here roar up out of the water and dome on top like gumdrops covered in moss and trees. As we walked, we all began to get quiet. We could hear Alaska around us and I realized that without the rain, we would have none of the lush nature that my group and I were enjoying.

We were in a fairyland of Sphagnum moss, spruce, western hemlock and all the trappings that the southeast has to offer. As we tromped on ground that felt similar to a foam mattress topper, we noticed a small deer had appeared in front of us.

I stopped the whole group as we stood downwind of the deer. We watched the little Sitka Blacktail wander slowly out of the forest only thirty feet in front of us. He bowed his head delicately to sip on a stream before moving out of sight again and blending back into the green landscape. We carried on until we got to cliffs on the side of George Island that faces the open ocean and were being slapped by the waves carried in by the stronger currents and steady wind.

End of the Hike

Earlier we had been cursing the wind for blowing our hats off but now we saw the power behind it. The bald face cliffs were stoic and silent and as we peered down from our perch we saw a raft of sea otters floating by and holding hands.

Sea Lions in Alaska

Sea Lions reveled in the turbulence and ripped fishes in half to snack while gulls ate the left over entrails. Finally, we made it to the WWII gun site that is a historical highlight of George Island. My people posed with the cannon and wandered the cliffs until it was time to head home to the Safari Endeavour for a warm dinner and dry clothes.

Safari Endeavour

I began to think and realized, sometimes rain isn’t so bad after all.



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