Our last two days out to the “pinch” of Twin Lakes in Lake Clark National Park was a doozy. We arrived at our camp after our last near-miss bear encounter the day before, and Melody was hyper vigilant. We were forced to make noises after this, such as singing “Do-Re-Mi” and speaking in code. Actual bears were now coded “birds” as to not alarm Melody, and her hypersensitivity to the dangers of the wildlife that was here. After our night of rest, and new found courage, reluctantly coming out of our safe vinyl housing into the wilderness. This wasn’t without the questions of where our bird was now, and if he had been out sniffing our food from the day before.
Here is Melody ready to set out.
One of the first things we saw, close to the lake was this big grizzly. This made our tracks a little longer, and furthering our doubt of safe passage.
But the morning ended up being less eventful than the day before. All except for the humid weather which made for weird, glowing photographs.
We continued, with our usual break every 30 minutes to alleviate the pain in my shoulders from the gear I was carrying. We ended up seeing some pretty interesting flora, such as this moss like material that covered the ground. The ground really resembled some sort of foam, creating a dampened walk. This really took it’s toll on our bodies while we hiked the short 30 miles total on our trip out of Twin Lakes.
More fog, more moss, and more energy to get through this. These hikes aren’t your typical well marked pathways we see in the lower 48.
And some hard ground, and another break. There was also a break in the trees, which gave Melody more comfort that there weren’t any bears around here. We had to strategically find some open areas, sitting back to back, while we rested to make sure nothing would come up from behind us.
We ended up getting near the pinch and decided to setup camp early. We only had a few miles to cover over these two days, and the lake was already in our sites. Here is the view of the mountains as the clouds were rolling in.
Melody and our campsite, such a beautiful location as well as open to optimum spotting.
And the clouds began to separate, which was foreboding a great sunset later in the day.
I decided to pull out our favorite dinner of that day, chicken and dumplings from Backpacker’s Pantry. I would highly recommend, even though it’s a more active and longer process.
Mel and Kel.
And the light was really amazing, going from a golden foreground to…
magnificent pink and blue landscape.
our view looking back where we came from.
And our home for the night.
I really overdid it on these photos, since there weren’t really that many opportunities to get landscape photos. We were either super exhausted or just hyperaware of what was really out there.
and our tent, nestled next to the tree.
We headed out for our last day, knowing that our pickup time was 11 am that day. But around 9 am I saw a plane flying around the lake. I knew this could only be ours, but Melody assured me that it wasn’t and we kept onward toward the pinch.
Melody helping with my tripod, and a bit of my gear as I swallowed my pride after the first day and gave up some weight. Thanks Melody!
Our lunch break around Twin Lakes. Melody and I stopped for a quick bit, and got a bit of a scare. As we were eating we hear a little rustling from behind us, and by the time we turned around a bear butt was running away! The bears are truly curious and sneaky. This made for a quick lunch and a quick hike to the pinch afterwards.
Melody and Kelvin, with our bright orange matching puffies. We look dorky, but I thought this would give us higher visibility for our airplane pilot.
After our pick up, we found out it really was our airplane that was around Twin Lakes. He actually headed back up to Telaquana to see if we were up there still, flying around to see where we were off to. Our ride back was brutal on Melody, as her motion sickness kicked in, exacerbated by our exhaustion from the backpacking on the proceeding days. I just sat back and enjoyed the view. There really wasn’t much for me to do, but comfort her that we made it out safely!
And the view from the front, as we headed down the Tlikakila River back to Anchorage.