Caravan Sonnet: Worthington Glacier Ridge Hike // Alaska

9/25/18

Worthington Glacier Ridge Hike // Alaska

Happy Tuesday friends! I hope that this week has started off well! We are experiencing cooler temperatures here at the cabin, so I am bundled up near the heat writing this post!

 I am so excited to continue to share about the road trip we did through Alaska and today share pictures from the Worthington Glacier Ridge Hike in Thompson Pass that we did!
As a bit of background, this specific hike was actually not on our planned list of hikes and was added in spur of the moment after we arrived at Worthington Glacier which I am so glad happened! Sometimes those moments on trips are the best - aren't they? The ones that you don't plan for, but happen and they end up creating some of the most precious memories, which is definitely what happened on this hike!
As we were exploring the Worthington Glacier (that I shared about HERE last week), I kept looking up along the high ridges and peaks by the glacier itself and seeing people who were hiking. It looked so neat and I immediately wanted to hike it. 

So, I said to Ali, "let's hike on up there". Now Ali was a bit skeptical which I understood as it was very high but for some reason I thought it would be incredibly easy. *hahaha* I kept looking and said, "Ali, we can totally do this- there are kids up there that are hiking around like it is nothing" and so after a bit more convincing, she agreed and off we went up the trail. 

Yes, I admit it- I am typically the adventuresome one who wants to grab every moment and explore everything. I think it comes from being sick for so long and wanting to grab onto every moment of life possible... but I am digressing...
So off we went onto the trail... now two quick things that are making me giggle even as I type these words. First, the sign that is in the pictures above clearly states that this trail is steep, primitive, and difficult... but both of us in our excitement of this adventure never saw the sign until we came back down the mountain. 
Oh...and second and the "children" I said that I saw... they were all adults. Hahaha. We literally saw one child coming down the trail in the entire adventure... the rest just looked small because of how high up they were! I actually asked someone at some point who was coming down as we headed up- "are there more children up there"? They looked at me like I was crazy! Hahaha. I am laughing out loud right now. 
To clarify- yes... the trail is steep, primitive, and difficult. I definitely wouldn't recommend this if you aren't used to doing some sort of climbing/hiking. As I am re-learning about hiking and healing with my body, I did find this trail to be difficult. It wasn't the hardest trail per say as far as length... it was more that it is definitely very steep - especially as you reach the upper portion of the trail. Because it was steep I definitely recommend a good pair of hiking boots/shoes for this trail if you go on it to give yourself some "grip" for portions of the trail that are primitive. If you are looking for a recommendation, I love my Merrell Women's Moab 2 Mid Hiking boot. They have are awesome. You can find them HERE.
The trail is approximately 2 and 1/2 miles (round trip) and features beautiful views that are absolutely priceless all the way up of your hike. In these specific pictures we were only about 1/4 of a mile into the hike and already were starting to see beautiful views that were incredible!
As we rose in elevation it looked like we were ascending into the clouds.
One thing that I read about the trail (after we hiked it) was that many people begin the trail and return before they finish it. That is definitely easy to do in my opinion. I remember as we got to this point in the hike and I thought- oh we are almost at the top... and we still had a ways to go!
Looking out and we appeared to be so high... and yet we still had beauty that we were going to meet!
We got to the top of that portion and saw that the trail continued up and up some more. Look at how close the glacier looked at this point! It was gorgeous!
After hiking a bit longer I turned around to look out and was stunned at how much more we were seeing. It was simply stunning.
There was an old song that we listened to as children growing up, "climbing my mountain" (I actually wrote about it HERE) and the words from that song kept going through my head as I hiked.
Do y'all see the waterfall in this picture? *happy sigh* I have a little love affair with waterfalls.
The beautiful Worthington Glacier getting closer and closer!
And then we came up to this point in the trail... the last section... I feel like the picture doesn't do it the justice that it deserves. It was difficult... steep... and really hard.
And then we made it to the top and I was simply in awe. I was speechless, overcome with emotion... and had lots of tears.
For those of you who knew me way back before this blog began... before sickness altered life in unique and long-last ways than you know that I have a complete love affair with hiking and being out in nature. Not having the ability to do these things these last seven years has been one of the hardest things about this journey... and the source of many behind the scenes tears.
Despite some well-known doctors saying that I would never be able to hike again (or walk properly at one point), this has remained a dream that I continued to fight for. It started SLOWLY with learning to walk down our hallway, to months just walking to the mailbox (which exhausted my fragile body), to small walks around the neighborhood (often leaning on someone) to finally starting to jog & run again in small bits last summer. And then this summer...has held some miracles... including hiking this "steep & difficult" trail while I was in Alaska.
I have been thinking about this hike a lot recently. Yes, the views we're stunning, but at the end it was such a narrow & steep incline that only one person at a time could hike to the top (or go down). So you had to wait & as I stood there waiting I started sobbing. I wasn't at the top yet, but could see it was so close. And then it was my turn & I made it. All of the years of getting to this point hit me & I just cried.

It has also given me pause in reflecting on this stage of the healing journey...able to start to enjoy some long -awaited moments & yet held caught in an undetermined waiting period for others (including completing treatment, a full-time job, etc). The waiting is a dance I am still learning and yet like this hike will have an ending more stunning than I can imagine. 
So as I walked down this steep, primitive, and difficult trail I found myself changed in deep ways. And as I pulled the car out of the parking lot and back onto Richardson Highway I knew that that hike had impacted me more than I could have ever imagined. 
Whatever hills or mountains or steep, primitive, and difficult paths you find yourself on today... keep pressing on friend... the ending will have a beauty and view you can't imagine.

"If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere."

"When everything feels like an uphill struggle, just think of the view from the top."

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading this post today! 

PS- If you are curious about the specific details of the road trip that we took throughout Alaska or if you are planning a similar road trip (or just want to see and dream about visiting the beauty!) I hope the information below is helpful. You can read all of the posts from the trip by clicking on the links below:

Anchorage: // Anchorage Travel Guide//

Chugach Mountains (Alaska 1-South Drive): // Scenic Seward Highway Drive (Turnagain Arm Drive)//

Chugach Mountains: // Eklutna Lake//

Cooper Landing (Kenai Peninsula): // Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge Nature Trail//



Girdwood: // Winner Creek Trail //

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