What was supposed to be our first camping trip of the summer season turned out to be our final camping trip of the winter season. As the snowflakes dropped on the ground Saturday morning, thankfully we were tucked comfortably inside the Yuditnu Creek Cabin.
After work on Friday we grabbed a pizza from the Bear Tooth Theatrepub and headed up the highway toward Eklutna Lake. A three-mile hike along the Lakeside Trail with full backpacks got us to the cabin about 9 p.m. – the sun was still up and we had the campfire roaring in just a few minutes. It's always nice when the previous cabin-user leaves some already-cut, dry firewood stacked and waiting.
After an evening spent eating snacks, telling stories and poking the fire, the six of us headed for bed eager for Saturday’s adventure.
While the fresh snow may have kept us in bed a bit longer, it didn't dampen our enthusiasm. We set off on a little bushwhacking hike, following Yuditnu Creek from the lake a couple miles inland. It's a perfect trip in early spring – before the thick underbrush fills in and the devil’s club comes out.
As I usually do on these type adventures, I found myself thinking, and then eventually saying out loud, "This is why we live in Alaska."
The light snow kept up all day, but Sunday morning came bright and clear. As the sun got higher, we strolled along the rocky shore of the lake, which supplies much of Anchorage's drinking water. The ice-covered lake's surface was several feet below the high-water line, giving us a huge playground to enjoy.
While nature let us know that winter won't let go easily, we relished the opportunity to say "goodbye" to one season and "hello" to another.