Dangerously Daydreaming

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence

Aleutian Autumn

It’s official!  This morning I purchased plane tickets for J and I to visit my mom in Dutch Harbor, Alaska in August of 2013.  Now that might seem like a long way off but I’m so excited for it!  The last time I was able to visit my family up there was two years ago.  In honor of the trip booking I wanted to share about one of my favorite hiking spots on Unalaska Island (photos were taken during an October excursion):

Pyramid Mountain rises above the small town of Unalaska, hemming in the city from the south.  I still nurture hopes of summiting it one day, which isn’t an insurmountable feat by any means.  It towers above Unalaska at a stately 2000 feet with rolling hills of tundra leading the weekend hiker to it’s base.  But the mountain has a dark side too, namely the north face of the peak, with it’s crags and precipices where climbers have lost their lives in the past.  Summiting from the south side of the mountain is the most common and safe route, best undertaken during the summer before snows settle atop the peak.

A road from town takes me to the “trailhead” and continues on to the community’s watershed. The hike starts at a fork in the road where an old, neglected, gravel, service road winds along the south side of Pyramid Mountain.  I usually hike it from west to east.   It steadily climbs up the side of Pyramid, through a valley that is hilly meadows of brilliant flowers in the summer and rolling brown tundra in the winter.  The derelict road is now more of a trail and a bed for the streams trickling their way down the mountain.  This hike is one of my favorites because of how close it is to town and yet how there is hardly a sign of human encroachment along the trail.  Peaceful, wild, and beautiful – it perfectly encompasses my feelings about what the Aleutian Islands are.

The trail is a gradual climb but steep enough to cause some gasping for breath.  And the higher the elevation gain, the more the chill Bering winds whip at exposed ears and fingertips.  At the top of Pyramid Pass the trail begins to wind downward again, this time in a series of switchbacks.  Again streams have turned the road into a rocky creek bed.  Unalaska valley lies below and soon the rush of waterfalls can be heard.  The trail looks like a gravel road again.  And the hike is complete.  Now to hitch hike back to the trailhead to get the truck!  🙂

What are some of your favorite hikes?

Advertisements

21 comments on “Aleutian Autumn

  1. EverdayLivingPNW
    September 27, 2012

    Enjoy Dutch! Sure can be pretty when the weather is nice huh….

    • Audrey
      October 4, 2012

      Thank you, I’m looking forward to it! Yes, the summers are definitely the time to be there. Have you been before?

      • EverdayLivingPNW
        October 4, 2012

        Yep…lived there for 3 years 😛 Just moved back to seattle..small world huh?

      • Audrey
        October 4, 2012

        Very small world! Were did you work? My mom still works out at Alaska Ship in their main office.

      • EverdayLivingPNW
        October 4, 2012

        Prolly have met your mom then lol email me ehenry01 [at] gmail . com if you want, dont like broacasting my work on here 😛

      • Audrey
        October 4, 2012

        Will definitely have to drop you a line and swap Alaska stories!

  2. craft fear
    September 27, 2012

    So gorgeous! Alaska must be amazing, and it’s so cool you have family that you can visit there. How long will you be visiting?

    Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan province in China was an incredible two-day hike (though it could probably be done in one if you started early). I’d recommend that anyone who can get there as soon as possible before it gets overrun by tourist attractions.

    • Audrey
      October 4, 2012

      I’ll be going for 10 days next August. I lived there as a teenager and love going back to visit. It really is beautiful… 🙂
      Can’t say that I’ve been to China. When did you go? Do you have photos of the hike? I’d love to see it!

  3. storiesbywilliams
    September 27, 2012

    Dammit, woman! You’re travels are fast outpacing mine and I am here to tell you officially that I am jealous! Oh, and have a great time 😉

    • Audrey
      October 4, 2012

      Uh oh… In that case, I hope you and the wife have some more awesome trips planned soon! Haha, and thank you, I’m sure it’ll be wonderful – hoping to do some whale watching, halibut fishing, TONS of hiking. T’will be grand!

  4. thesweetkitten
    September 27, 2012

    Looks awesome!

    • Audrey
      October 4, 2012

      It’s a gorgeous place! Cold, but beautiful. 🙂

  5. betunada
    October 1, 2012

    phurrrreeeeeking AWSum, kid! makes ol’ couch poe-tay-toe me consider gettin’ out deah to see that stuff fer myself!
    (& yes, i’d be tempted to climb that thang). hoo nose? may be …

    • Audrey
      October 4, 2012

      It’s so pretty out there, I can’t help but want to hike it all and take tons of pictures. 🙂
      Any good hiking spots out where you live? Even if it’s not the mountains, maybe there are some good spots!

      • betunada
        October 4, 2012

        we ARE near (check some of my posts — we look up and at a mountain (“the Grand Mesa”) some 30 miles away and 5,000′ higher — axually, similar to your terrain! in NW WA. the Grand Valley, where we live, is considered “high desert”. yeah, some of Colorawdough is desert … and we can basically drive 5 – 10 miles ANY direction, get out with all the dawgs, and GO.

      • betunada
        October 11, 2012

        i don’t know if i replied to your question, before. regardless: the answer is “LOTS”

  6. captainariel
    October 1, 2012

    I’ve still never been to the top of Pyramid! 😦 Wanna take me!? 😉 😀

    • Audrey
      October 2, 2012

      I’ve never been either so I’m probably not the most qualified guide. 🙂 Doesn’t Jake hike up there quite a bit?

      • captainariel
        October 10, 2012

        yeah, he does! lol He said he’d take me before the snow hits…but doesn’t look like that will happen this year :/ ha..yeah..it’s about time I move to Washington, I say 😉 lol

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: