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July 8, 2020: Recon – Creek Crossing a No Go

. . . And so Pete and I went to check out the beginning of the route starting at Moose Creek and ending in Sutton. We got our bicycles and gear in order and set out. Our first stop was Moose Creek, which is approximately a mile from our place. We arrived at the creek, stripped down to our bicycling shorts and put on our neoprene sea kayaking boots.

Pete, with bicycle on shoulder, went first. The water was cold, fast flowing, shallow initially, deeper mid-stream. Pete put one foot into the drop off then took several steps backwards. Finally, he turned around and quickly headed back to where I was standing. He then announced that the water was too deep and fast for carrying a bicycle across and most likely too deep for the horses to cross.

Alys and Tinni crossing Moose Creek

We decided to go further up road, two-thirds of the way to the end of Buffalo Mine Road (this road parallels the creek) and see if the site called Outhouse Crossing might be more suitable for what we wanted to do. It was called Outhouse Crossing because there used to be an outhouse on the creek shore. We discovered that it was no longer there. It turned out that the crossing was also a no go – the creek where we might otherwise venture was quite narrow, so the water was running faster and deeper than downstream.

We decided to act upon Option Three, which was to go all the way to the end of Buffalo Mine Road. This too turned out to be a no go. The trip was not at all a waste – we’d brought our lunch along, so we had a picnic.

I of course was very disappointed because for over a year I’d envisioned doing this portion of the trip. Now, I am going to have to forego horseback riding this section and instead bicycle to Valdez. Yeah, I lead a rough life . . . that’ what some who might be reading this might say.

Though disappointed, I was pleased with Pete’s judgement call. He is right – crossing Moose Creek in any of the three places we checked out would be dangerous on horseback. I would not want to risk harming my chestnut china dolls.

So I am going to do this section of the trip later this summer, when the water level is down, I hope sometime in August. It would not be wise to do this in September because it will then be hunting season, and this year, I am sure, record number of hunters are going to be game for getting game.

A part of my alternative plan is to ride from Wendt Road to Sutton, take photos of the devastation, and see if I can make the argument with the powers that be that this stretch, if fixed up, would make for a nice equestrian trail. And wouldn’t it be nice if they built a hiker/horse bridge over the creek? A person can dream, can’t they?

So now it’s looking as though I’ll leave here on late Saturday or early Sunday morning. My decision will be weather dependent.

Next: 189. 7/8/20: Maintaining Trip Momentum

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