Exploring chilly new vistas
Hiking is something Audra Matolka has long enjoyed, but until two years ago, she had never tried heading out on trails in the fall and winter months.
“I wanted to keep active and my friend convinced me to do it,” said Matolka, who, until recently, lived in Palmer. “It had never occurred to me to do that. At first I didn’t want to; I thought it sounded really scary, didn’t think it was safe.” Then, she said jokingly, “I went (hiking) when I realized my friends didn’t die.”
Hiking in Alaska is tricky business. It might be a hot, sun-shining clear day when you start up a trail, a great day to travel light and just leave the pack in the car. Then, halfway up a trail on, say, Lazy Mountain, everything will change. Suddenly thick clouds rapidly waft in, a chill wind escalates and sleet falls—in June! Some of my friends are just beginning to discover hiking. The first words I heard from each of them before our first time out were variations of “What do I bring? I don’t know what to bring!”
- Written by Will Leschper
The bowed salmon rods bounced slightly each time the flasher and the hoochie at the end of their lines dragged through the strong current and met a mass of schooling herring that were balled up in tight groups, hoping safety in numbers was still the way to travel.
The wiggling sensation was enough to make the most cool-headed fisher want to lunge over, snatch up the rod and give it a Herculean jerk.