Marks First High Peak
Friday July 9, 1998 my oldest son Mark (7) and I headed for Coreys and an adventure in the Seward Mountains. We arrived that night and slept in my Bronco, as it was too late to consider hiking.
After a night of slight rain, we woke had breakfast and loaded up to go. This was Marks first experience doing any “real” hiking and camping and he was in his glory. The trail was extremely wet and muddy, and of course the leftovers of horses didn’t help. We took our time hiking out giving Mark plenty of rest and time to explore all the little things. We also stopped to see and hear the birds along the way. Winter wren bubbled their song near every brook. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers were everywhere, and warblers fluttered through trees finding food for their families. We finally arrived at Ward Brook Lean-to after crossing many streams, beaver ponds, trees growing from rocks, and hiking through beautiful forest and meadow.
It was raining and we took the shelter. After a break in the weather skies went blue and we set up camp. At 1:00 in the afternoon Mark was asking when we were going to climb the mountain. He really wanted to go now and it was still early enough so off we went. The “trail” was rather easy to find and follow. Mark at this time didn’t have a pack and he led the way, often with me asking him to slow down. He made my 30 years of age feel old! We stopped at any look out we had to rest and enjoy. Boreal Chickadee’s and Blackpoll Warblers announced we were gaining elevation and quickly. In about 2 hours we were on the summit “ridge” with great views towards Seward, Donaldson, and Emmons. And soon Mark was shouting, "there it is", as he found the canister. It was a great moment, and made a proud father to watch Mark reach the summit of his first ADK Peak and my 27th. We signed the book, took pictures, enjoyed the moment but soon headed down as thunder and rain were coming fast. It caught us as we hiked through the forest below and we pretty much got soaked but it was part of the fun. We slept well that night.
The following morning we headed out. Marks remembrance of the hike in was great, as he knew that the “beaver pond” was around the corner, and the stream with the big rock was over this hill, and the big tree in the rock was just ahead. We were treated to a family of Spruce Grouse along the trail and a White-tailed Deer, which stopped on the trial to see us. Soon we reached the parking area and took the time to relax and talk about the hike.
We left soon after to stop at Uncle Mikes so Mark could give his Uncle a hard time about being somewhere Mike had never been. Mike was not home, but camping at Garnet Lake. It was a great hike and Mark is ready for the next one.