Jesse & Angel Lost In Mountain Storm! Celeste & Rudi Mourn

Posted on July 18, 2010


Rainy, cool weather is the norm this summer in Alaska, and the locals aren’t happy about it, as their summer outdoor fun is part of a cherished heritage. One guy told me that he considers summer any month where he didn’t need skis to get around, roughly April through October, depending on latitude.

Preparing for the 22-Mile Hike (Really 27.5, But Who's Counting)

Camp was Denali North View, a parking lot with outhouses, but a fine view of Denali (Mt. McKinley) on the rare occaisions the clouds reveal it. Jesse & Angel pack their gear for the overnight hike and Celeste takes them to the trailhead while Rudi indulges in his various vices alone with his warped thoughts.

Kesugi Ridge is a high, isolated trail, on the high alpine tundra above bears and their ilk. The down side is its a high alpine trail exposed to the elements, and that is what they are going to get as a storm is moving in.

Jesse Enjoys Final Moments of the Day: Misery Will Arrive Soon

Kesugi Ridge Camp, Jesse & Angle 8 Miles In, Before Storm Hits

Waiting for Rudi's Stove to Pass Gas

They got little sleep as high winds and rain battered them all night. Rudi loaned them his light weight camp stove and propane canister telling them “there’s plenty of gas in that there can”, which of course ran out before they could fix their dinner. With little sleep or food they faced the morning wind and rain only to find a map error meant they actually had almost 20 miles to hike, instead of the fourteen miles they had planned on.

The Reseliancy of the Younger Set Shines Through

We’ll return to them later.

Celeste at Byers Lake, Looking for Blueberries: Rudi Asks "Don't Bears Eat Blueberries Too?"

Celeste and Rudi move camp to Byers Lake to wait the hikers. Having done a little math of their own, they realize the extra miles will be a problem. Rudi is thinking “more grog for me”, while Celeste worries about their welfare. Must be a “Mars/Venus” thing.

Rudi sees what he believes is a potential campsite for the night, if they have to wait for the hikers.

The Warmth Of Home Beckons Rudi

Nothing A Little Dusting Won't Fix

The Garden Is Handy To The Kitchen

Fresh Lichen and Moss For Dressing Either Salads Or Suppurating Bear Claw Wounds

Celeste Makes Note Of One Small Problem

Reluctantly Moving On, Rudi Is Drawn To A Sign Of Civilization

After Helping Rudi Recover From a Mild Heart Attack, Celeste points Out That "Bearing" Refers to a Compass, Not a Large, Furry, Ravenous Mammal. No claw marks or fur were found on this tree.

A Litle Scotland in Alaska: Kesugi Ridge In A Mood

Angel and Jesse arrive having made the correct decision to cut down a shorter trail and hitchhike down to Byers Lake after a 14-mile hike, and the group sets off to Denali National Park. The boys get to ride in the rain again, but it’s only 100 miles or so, and they are getting used to it after nearly three weeks on the road.

The Entrance to Denali Looks Like Any Mall In America: Busy, But Outdoorsy Too. Good Food, Great Company!

They enter Denali National Park and head to their campsite 13 miles in at Savage River. Rudi loves these names: Savage River, Tatlanika, Moose Jaw, etc. where they camp night after night. Days Inn, Holiday Inn, Best Western, Pierre, Waldorf, etc. eat your civilized hearts out!

Savage River Camp: Well Water 100 Feet to the Left, Outhouse 200 Yards to the Right. Trees out back for the Guys. No Electriciy, Cell Phone or Wifi. Heaven Off the Grid.

Tomorrow at 7 a.m. we head into the Park and for 8 hours search for wildlife. With Angel and Jesse doing the looking, success is guaranteed. Rudi has trouble finding that outhouse, much less a moose at a mile off.

Great bear photos from Angel will be offered up next post.


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Rudi G  & Jesse