Chilkoot Trail Day 1: The Up And Down And Roots And Rocks Trail

Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Start: Skagway
Stop: Canyon City Camp
7.7 Miles

We gobble down a hearty breakfast and then head over to the trail center to wait for our ride to the trail head. Ann gets us there in no time and also provides the bear spray and fuel that we had requested ahead of time. Unfortunately, the bear spray doesn’t come with a holster and Phil has to wedge it into his pants pocket.

At the edge of the Taiya River we immediately start to climb. It’s a good check to make sure the heart’s ready to pump. I ignored my rule of starting cold and immediately have to stop and remove a layer. The rain forest is lush and humid as we step over tree roots and rocks galore. Cottonwood seeds, which make it almost look like it’s snowing, float through the air and coat all the plant surfaces. There are many raised walkways over water or swampy areas and I am so grateful. Phil and I both comment on how happy we are to have paid the permit fee for these glorious walkways. The sky tries to spit on us as the mosquitoes swarm during a riverside break.

It doesn’t take long to reach our camp for the night and there’s several hikers already in there. Neon Man immediately comes over to us to tell us we should hang out packs on a pole. Buttttt, the Rangers didn’t say anything about that during the orientation so we kinda ignore him and shove our gear into the bear boxes. Just past the eating area and warming hut, we find the perfect camping spot for our two tents. It’s riverside and loud (from the rushing water) but sure is beautiful.

Then it’s back to the hangout area for journal writing and eating. Neon Man pontificates endlessly at a nearby table. I fire up my stove for it’s first real meal and it’s quick and easy. After eating my heaviest meal of Fettuccine Alfredo I warm water for hot chocolate too. Boy, this warm meal thing is pretty luxurious and I could get used to it. In fact, I’m afraid of always wanting it in the future. Even though I’m exhausted from my lack of sleep last night I force myself to stay awake until near 9pm. In my tent, I put on my ipod and try reading a bit. But the eye lids are heavy and I soon pull my beanie over my eyes.