It rained heavily last night, on top of raining a lot all summer, so we were expecting mud, but not quite as much mud as we got! The 7 miles of trail to Caribou Lake could be separated into 3 categories:
- Very muddy
- Well packed, nice dirt trail.
I would say the boardwalk was maybe 2-3 (??) miles of the 7. The nice, packed trail might have hit 1 mile in some high, well-drained spots. The remaining 3-4 miles was muck!
Since we've moved here we've seen probably hundreds of ATV's being hauled down East End Road to the Caribou Lakes Trail. I have noticed that all of them that are heading back in the direction of Homer have been very muddy! Now we know why. Here's a picture of me after our excursion today. The picture doesn't do justice to how muddy it was!
As for Caribou Lake, we were utterly unimpressed. People talk about it like it is a really incredible place, but it's a medium-sized lake with lily pads growing on one end and a virtual village of cabins surrounding it. The irony is that people go there to "get away", but they are surrounded by neighbors out there! Some of the "cabins" are nicer than many people's homes; other cabins have been in the family for generations so there is a sense of history with it.
It took us a little over an hour to 4-wheel 11 or so miles from our house to Caribou Lake. I will admit that we certainly felt like we were a long ways out--it was a long hour! I actually started to enjoy myself on the way back with the sun shining and despite my forearm cramping from keeping the gas lever pressed. I actually, in a perverse way, look forward to going out there again and exploring some other trails! Next time I'll wear muck boots so the waves of mud don't wash into my hiking boots!