There's not much that stops a true Alaskan from enjoying the outdoors.
6 degrees out? Not a problem. Ever hear of layers?
Trails saturated in snow? Blaze your own path, wear a tall pair of boots, and bring ice cleats and poles, just in case.
Hair have a propensity to freeze around your face? Honey, it's the most natural way to look like Elsa! A gift.
Anyhow, yesterday was one of my rare days off, as well as one of Anton's few days back in town (having just returned from Italy- life is a drag), and per his suggestion, we skipped town and went in search of adventure.
*cue Bilbo dancing out of Hobbiton
With the sun out and Alaska's mountains slowly taking us out of cell service, we were once again reminded of the beauty that lays in our backyard.
And boy is it beautiful.
We ended up at the Byron Glacier Trailhead, located just before Portage Glacier. It's a semi-popular hiking spot, and after seeing beautiful pictures of rich aqua ice caves on Instagram, my interest was piqued and I knew I had to take a look for myself.
Heated gloves on, hat on my head, seven or eight layers wrapped around my goosebumply body, and ice cleats on my feet, we plowed through the snow and made our way up.
For the first two miles or so, the trail was evidently carved out, but once we got to the clearing leading up to the glacier, we ran into an ominous sign that read:
DANGER Hazardous Snow & Ice Conditions: Trail not maintained beyond this point. Travel is not recommended without glacier travel skills and the proper rescue gear. Falling into a glacial crevasse could result in injury, or death!
So what did we do?
We walked on.
Now I certainly don't recommend you do so without the proper gear because although we followed a designated trail that someone obviously walked on with expertise (pole marks in the snow made it apparent), it was still bloody terrifying to think that one wrong step could land you head first in a deep snowy crevasse.
Luckily, we made it safe and sound.
And while my heart was pounding and my feet followed my brother's footsteps to the point of precision, I felt this incredible thrill of having blazed our own path, so to speak.
We're both the type of adventurers to make our own trail!
Thinking ice caves were in the distance, we carefully walked on, and about halfway through walking over the snow, we realized that we were actually walking on the ice caves we had previously seen in photos, now buried in a most recent snowfall.
Well that explains a lot!
While it was unfortunate that we were unable to explore the ice caves like all the other Instagrammers who had just visited weeks before the snow, it was nonetheless an adventure, and we were one of the few brave (or stupid) souls to venture into unmarked territory, explorers going out into the unknown.
It was, to say the least, a nICE hike.