Yesterday, for Aly’s birthday, she and I indulged in one of our favorite activities: rambling. We had the day to ourselves with Michelle filling in for a coworker on her part-time job, so we threw a lunch, some water, and a canister of bear spray in a day pack, and headed up the ridge along the “moose highway”.
In 2009, a friend and I hiked up there scouting for moose before the season opened. We saw two things on that hike that Aly and I have been searching for, off and on, ever since: a small lake or large pond (which my friend had seen before) and a really nice little cave (which my friend had not seen before). We’ve never been able to find either again, including yesterday, but we have a lot of fun trying.
We hiked up the ridge for a couple of hours, following a trail that a neighbor had improved recently, chainsawing windfalls off the path, and improving some of the blazes. We went till the blazes ran out, then started casting back and forth across the ridge, looking for the lake. We found some spectacular overlooks of the Katzehin delta across Lynn Canal, and got close enough to the highway that we could hear it, but not see it. We could tell that we were near the straightaway just north of Letnikof Cove, because that’s about the only stretch south of town where people have a little room to gun their engines, if they choose.
We made our own way home rather than trying to relocate the blaze trail. That led us to some interesting places, remembered and half-remembered from previous rambles. We found a gully that I had seen before, that appears almost to be hewn purposely out of the rock. We also found a knoll where we’d once had a picnic lunch. As we gazed down the length of our peninsula, recognizing landmarks, we despaired of getting home by 4:00 pm, as we’d told Michelle.
Nevertheless, we set off through the woods, navigating by intuition, mostly. Before long we found the trail again, and made our way home. We’re not sure exactly how long it took—Aly said I had told her we had 15 minutes to our deadline, but I really doubt we could have gone that far in that short of time, with no trail most of the way. At any rate, we made it home on time, and had preparations for Aly’s birthday dinner started when Michelle stepped through the door 5 minutes later.
Eventually, we’ll find the lake, but I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll ever find the cave. I’m also beginning to wonder if we really want to?