Monday, October 20, 2014

Near Island

The Pugbull is more interested in chasing gulls and running around
like a nut than taking a picture with me
This is my favorite hike of the moment.  I'm sure that will change when another area strikes me as the new favorite.  But for now, the trails on Near Island are at the top of my arbitrary hiking flavor of the minute list.

Near Island is a short trip into town and a quick drive over a little bridge that stretches across the channel.  I guess that's why it's called Near Island - because it's close!  It has a good chunk of trails that take hikers through mossy, wooded paths that eventually jut out and hug the coastline. - Which is one of the reasons it's on the top of my list right now.

The views off of Kodiak are and will always be captivating.  No matter how many times I've seen them.  I can't tell you how often I gaze out at the view while I'm driving and think, "Would ya look at that."  There are just as many times I'm gazing out at the gray, drab skies and pondering how shitty the weather is too, but let's focus on the positive, shall we?

As we were tromping around, I started noticing what sounded like off road motor bikes or someone cutting down trees with a chainsaw.  It didn't take long to realize that what sounded like far away machinery of some kind was actually a huge colony of sea lions sunning themselves on an old dock not too far from where we were hiking.  It sounds weird, but that's exactly what those big mothers sound like when they bark and howl in unison. 

There were something like 50 sea lions right at the mouth of St. Herman Harbor, and they were so loud that we heard them before we saw them.

Check out that big one on the left.  Huge!

Look at all of them!  Are they not just big slugs, or what? 

I've been hoping to spot some sea lions out of the water for a while now.  Before this day, the handful I'd caught sight of were swimming. - Which is still impressive, but when you see them out of the water the enormity of their size is so much more prominent.  Definitely the highlight of our hike that day.  I can still hear them barking and making a racket!

Although, there is something to be said about the quiet, earthy stroll through the mossy I might have mentioned once or twice before in my ramblings about our Alaska experience.  The natural environment, the raw beauty?  Still not old.  And I don't think it ever will be.  No matter what hike is my flavor of the moment.

Ta-ta for now.

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