Monday, June 30, 2014

TRAILS Day 2014

TRAILS Day is a popular event occurring the first Saturday of June each year. Volunteers are sought to help clear trails in Kachemak Bay State Park across Kachemak Bay from Homer. They pay only $20 for the water taxi ride across the bay (normal price is $80 per person). There are different levels of difficulty of work. Some folks even get a floatplane ride over (for $50) to work on more remote trails.

I got Denver signed up for the second to last spot of the HoWL (Homer Outdoor Wilderness Leaders) volunteer kids workgroup. He got to go free (but didn't get a t-shirt like other volunteers did), and was helping clear a brand new trail in the glacial till area. It will be a cross-country ski trail in the winter and a mountain bike trail in the summer.

I got my in-laws and I signed up for the last 3 spots in the Family Guided Hike, which got us across the bay for $20 each, but we didn't have to work. We followed local naturalist Ed Berg as he described the local plants  and some geology as we hiked the trail from the Glacier Spit to the Grewingk Glacier Lake and then back over the Saddle Trail for pickup in Halibut Cove.

Ed was amazingly knowledgeable about plants, but he tended to be long-winded and went on long beyond my attend span. We started our hike about 8:30 a.m. and got on the boat for pickup about 3:30 p.m. Besides a brief break at the Glacier Lake, we got as much information as we could possibly hold about the natural world. Here is a photo journey of our day, all taken by Phillip Waclawski.

As an funny side, the Homer News had a reporter along on the trip covering it and both my in-laws got their picture in the paper as part of this excursion (See article at

The water taxi folks all get together to transport folks across the bay for TRAILS Day

Ed Berg talks about the flower that will appear on the Devil's Club

We headed a half mile or so up the trail towards the tram for lunch, then back to the trail to the Glacier Lake

Lunch on the glacial wash plain. This is near the area Denver and HoWLers were working on the new trail.

View of Grewingk Glacier

First glance of Glacier Lake with icebergs floating

Grewingk Glacier Lake and beach

View of Halibut Cove coming over the Saddle Trail from Glacier Lake

One of Mako's Water Taxi's waiting for pickup in Halibut Cove

Stairs lead to the Saddle Trail at this beach

Pickup on the beach

Lots of gulls on Gull Rock as we head back to Homer

These look like loons to me--lots and lots of loons!

A neat feature of Gull Rock

And coming back into the Homer Harbor--the Time Bandit of the famed Deadliest Catch is in the harbor being worked on

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