Back to Anchorage

Trip Start May 06, 2010
Trip End Oct 14, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Friday, July 30, 2010

We tried to reach the office of the company in Port Alsworth that was sending a plane for us on a satellite phone.  Unfortunately, nobody answered.  We later learned that the power was off in half of the town.  We packed up most of our equipment and waited under a small tarp in the rain and wind.  We heard a plane coming and quickly packed the last of our things and headed down to the shoreline.  Unfortunately, the lake was too rough and the winds too high for the pilot to land near us.  Instead, he landed in a small, protected cove a couple miles away where there is a volunteer ranger station staffed in the summer by a couple who are both school teachers.  One of them came across the lake in a Zodiac and picked us up.  He was the first person we had seen since the pilot dropped us off six days ago.  The ride across the lake was extremely wet.

We got ashore at the ranger station and moved our now much wetter things to the plane.  The pilot had previously agreed to take us to Dick Proenneke's cabin.  Dick Proenneke completed his cabin in 1968, long before the area was a national park, and lived there for 30 years.  It was built using only hand tools and displays a remarkable level of craftsmanship.  A documentary film was made in 2003 about the construction of the cabin called Alone in the Wilderness.  Proenneke kept extensive journals while living in the cabin, which were the basis for two books, One Man's Wilderness and More Readings from One Man's Wilderness.  Unfortunately, the pilot was unable to land near the cabin due to the high winds and waves.

We flew back to Port Alsworth.  I took a shower at the guide's house and then we went Visitor Center.  We spend most of the time until my flight looking at the displays, watching videos about the park and talking with the rangers.  My flight was delayed for about two hours by an air show at Merrill Field in Anchorage.  Parts of the flight back to Anchorage were gorgeous but, unfortunately, parts were also through clouds.  I got to see some moose and Beluga whales from the plane.

After arriving in Anchorage, I went to my hotel where I got to sleep in a bed for the first time in days.  I learned a valuable lesson on this backpacking trip; backpacking isn't really for me.  I have a new appreciation for furniture.
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