Hope – Day 1

I’ve been promising to upload the pictures from our 4th of July trek out to Hope for – well – What day is it today? – twelve days. I’m finally getting started. Part of the challenge was that I took 285 pictures during that 48 hour trip. Really. 285 pictures. I’ll try to spare you the delight torture of having to view them all.

This trip to Hope had been planned since forever ago by my friend J who had the brains to plan ahead and reserve a cabin for the holiday weekend some time last winter.

We like to camp with J and her family because their kids are the same ages as ours. (Read: totally understand meltdowns, insane numbers of pit stops, a reasonable bedtime, time outs, quiet time, etc., etc.) You might remember J’s son G from the post about the wedding.

After meeting up at the Ranger Station on the edge of town and making sure we were all really going the same place we loaded up and headed on down the road.

I took this picture about 5 minutes into our drive. Our destination is across this water there at the base of the mountains.  


See those itty bitty white dots on the far shoreline in this picture? Probably not. Trust me, they are there. Those dots are buildings in Hope. It would be a quick 10 minute jaunt over the bridge from town if there were one. But there isn’t. Of course, Hope wouldn’t be Hope if it were just a quick 10 minute jaunt over the bridge. It would lose its . . . uh . . . um . . . unique Alaska charm . . . and become a suburb of Anchorage.

Anyway, so it isn’t a quick ten minute jaunt. It is more like an 80 mile 1.5 hour drive or something like that. We have to drive up around all this water . . .   

and back down the other side.

So we did.

The scenery was beautiful. You’ll have to trust me on that. I had to cut something. If you want to look at great pictures of Turnagain Arm I guarantee you that you can find better ones out there than those I took.

We eventually arrived at our destination . . .

. . . this charming little cabin in a neighborhood in Hope. I use the word neighborhood loosely. Picture an assortment of dwellings in various stages of development built from every imaginable type of material (building and otherwise) scattered through the woods and connected by gravel roads.

We then fed the starving little children. (Our good deed for the day.)

Then we strolled.

I have to say strolled because look at our footwear. If I told people we were hiking we’d get accused of being naïve unprepared tourists.


See what I mean?

Generally speaking I don’t recommend strolling through the woods in Alaska in flip-flops (or Crocs™ or Tevas® for that matter). But as they say, you can take the boy off of the Gulf of Texas but you can’t take his flip-flops from him

It was a beautiful evening for a hike stroll . .

Lush and green.

And very, very prickly.

This stuff is wicked. It’s called Devil’s Club by those of us who don’t know our Latin from our genus. Devil’s Club is everywhere and there is no bushwhacking here because it is evil. It’s covered in thorns that don’t just poke you. They can make you itch and blister.

We saw cool stuff on our stroll . . .

and made a new friend . . .

I don’t know where this sweet little thing lives . . . if any place specific. She was so skinny her hip bones were protruding from her body. She followed us back to the cabin and spent the evening coveting (and sharing) our food. She was dear and gentle and trained (which makes me think someone is lovin’ on her somewhere . . . I hope). And it took all of my self-control and some threatening words from my husband to keep me from taking her home with me.

That evening we hung out at the cabin. Some of us quite literally.

“I’m done now,” says the cute little redhead.

We smoked out all the mosquitos.

Ate S’mores.

Some of us gave in to the pressure of being out of touch for nine whole hours and checked our email.

We put the kids to bed.

 And I have to stop now. I’ve reached my self-imposed per post picture limit.

We’ll chat about day two later this week.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Sherry Collins
    Jul 20, 2010 @ 16:06:28

    D, you are an extremely gifted writer. You should consider writing some kind of book or newspaper column about your life in Alaska. Pie lets me know when you have something new, and I always enjoy it.

    By the way, my D, who has red hair, married a man who is half Spanish and half French. He has black hair and brown eyes. Our D now has a precious little red-headed daughter who looks just like her. I told her husband that I didn’t think it was possible, but little E is living proof.

    I love your pictures, and it is fun seeing C.



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