[originally written in paper journal; subsequently published on my older site]
It’s my first full day back in Sitka this summer and I decided to hike up Indian River Trail. I made it as far as the first bridge and decided to turn back so that I can gradually toughen up my feet again. I am hiking in running shoes and have not had any trouble. The weather is quite nice, mostly sunny, but not hot, with a slight breeze.
There are many people walking dogs here today. There has also been a near constant throbbing of a helicopter. I think it is transporting materials for trail maintenance on Verstovia. I saw a Steller’s Jay. It would be nice to get a good picture of one of them at some point. There are a fair number of cloudberry blooms near the bench in the muskeg.
On the way back I decided to stop and relax a bit on the gravel bar which is just down the trail from the old USGS water survey location. The helicopter must have been at lunch since I did not hear it. I may have dozed off. It was nice. It is actually possible to lay down comfortably on rocks if one finds the right place.
I saw some ants near the bench. I wonder where/how they live in the muskeg without drowning.
On the way back, I smelled campfire just up the trail from the bench (I had also smelled it on the way up) and decided to investigate. Two people (they looked to be young males) appeared to be camping across river. They were doing some digging in the a sand bar but I am not sure why. They look like they are short term campers.
[no photos taken]