Alaska Cruise: Part 5

Our last port was Seward, where we decided to hike Harding Trail overlooking Exit Glacier. It's supposed to be a 6-8 hour hike, but we only had 4 hours to dedicate to it.

I carried the camera bag, but was so excited by the challenge of the climb that I never remembered to take it out. Consequently, we have a lot of pictures taken by J's iPhone of my backside. ;)

I did get one photo of a marmot, though. It looks like a tiny groundhog here, but it was big.  We discovered throughout the course of this trip that J always spots {and gets excited by} the animals when we're out in nature. I, on the other hand, like the views, vegetation, and physical exertion.

The trail was beautiful. Mountains, trees, flowers, waterfalls-- with each subtle change in elevation, there was something new to see.

While I still have plenty of post-depression junk in my trunk, I felt pretty fit. I was bounding up rocky stairways and speeding up the rough trail to try and get as far as we could in our limited time frame. We were both soaked in sweat by the time we got to the glacier overlook.

At this point, we were passed by a man running up the trail. Not just jogging. He was full out running! As it turns out, Seward is famous for a race up the nearly vertical face of Mt Marathon every 4th of July. This guy was training for it, and $%&@ if I didn't feel suddenly very out of shape! I was impressed. And jealous. And adding Mt Marathon to my bucket list.

J did not feel the same way. Once we passed the tree line and started hiking the switchbacks in snow up to our shins, he began to peter out and fall behind. We wanted to make it to the trail's end {or at least as far as the emergency shelter} but had to turn back or risk missing our ride. We could have done it if we'd had another 45 minutes. 

Even so, I was so happy to get a real hike. As I kept telling J, being outdoors and really using my body had become extremely cathartic for me. I was able to stop berating myself for not looking the way I think I 'should' look, and instead could really relish all that my body is capable of doing. I felt vibrant and healthy and truly alive.

At the top, we ran out of water. Disobeying every instinct my mom instilled in me, we found a stream of pure glacier runoff and {hoping it wouldn't kill us} filled our water bottles with the icy cold water.

Soooo good. And I'm still alive, so, there you go. :)

Then we hiked down {not nearly as fun as going up}, caught our shuttle back to town, and had a fish lunch before catching our train to Anchorage.

I already miss having fresh fish every single day. :( Seward, you were awesome. See you again for the Mt Marathon race. Someday.

1 comment:

Allison said...

Welcome back!

I've enjoyed your vacation recaps (and now want to go to Alaska) but I wanted to say I really, REALLY liked what you said about using our bodies instead of merely judging them. I have been trying to add some kind of work-out every day - running, yoga, dance - and I love how I feel when I'm doing it. You hit the nail on the head. If you find that quoted on Pinterest, it was me ;)

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