It was a sunny day (contrary to what the weather forecast had predicted) and my brother Jonathan and I decided to hike up Gavan Hill to the shelter. I had not been up there since about the first week in June when I spent the night in the snow covered shelter.

We made it up to the ridge top (about 2.25 miles) in just over one hour, including a couple of short breaks. As we hiked along the ridge towards the shelter we saw a view of Mt. Edgecumbe. There were a few patches of snow left along the top of the ridge in some places. This was a vast difference from the last time I was up and the entire ridge was under a pretty thick layer of snow. Many of the stairs were fairly damaged. I suspect that the damage was probably due to snow since there were no trees around which looked like they could have fallen and caused the damage (and it was widespread).

It took an hour from the top of the ridge over to the shelter. I had forgotten how tall the shelter was. I took a picture of the shelter with my brother beside it (he is a little over 6 feet tall). For comparison here is a picture of the shelter at the begining of June. We ate some food at the shelter before deciding to head around towards Harbor Mountain. Originally we had intended to head down Gavan again, but we saw a couple of people in front of us and figured we might get lucky and be able to hitch a ride into town with them, so we decided to chance it.

Along the trail below Harbor Mountain the slopes were covered in plants, many of which were in bloom. There were reds, purples, blues, whites, and yellows peppering the green with added color. I saw geraniums, columbine, monkshood, lousewort, paintbrushes, anemones, and lupine, among others. It was interesting to me how it was not too difficult to tell where the snow had melted off earlier since the flowers there were mostly gone with only the seed pods and green remaining.

We did end up catching up with the two people we had seen in front of us. They were a nice couple from Colorado who were travelling around Southeast, spending a couple of days in each town. He had been in Southeast in the late 60's fishing, and so was somewhat familiar with the area. They were kind enough to give Jonathan and me a ride back into town. Even so we had to walk an extra two miles to the third gate since the road had washed out a little bit last winter and is in need of repair before the road will be opened up completely.

Home | Summer 1999