"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
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?