Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hatcher Pass Vol. 2- Gold Cord Hike

A popular trail in Hatcher Pass is the Gold Cord Lake Trail at Independence Mine.  It leads up to Gold Cord Lake and an historic cabin. It's a very busy trail in the summer and especially on weekends. The area can be skied in the winter by parking at the Independence Basin below Independence Mine. I hiked the area recently and enjoyed a beautiful, early fall day while admiring the alpine tundra of the Talkeetna Mountains. There were a lot of dogs on the trail and any dog owners wanting to hike with their pets need to make sure the dog is socialized with people and other dogs. They should be leashed, as they should also stay on the trail and off the delicate tundra and shouldn't be let to run around chasing the small animals trying to forage the mountain. I watched as one pet owner yelled for the dog to come back, while the dog shot off across the mountainside, paying no attention to its owner's calls. Dogs like these are the type that bring back an angry bear to their master, or some innocent hiker. Plus, you should be cleaning up after your pet, so you shouldn't let it wander more than leash distance from you at any time. One tiny dog was an exception, as it followed very closely to his master, and its size meant it wasn't heavy enough to damage a lot of the shallow-rooted tundra plants. In any case, I'll make an excuse for him because he was so darn cute and he let me pet him.

On another note, if anyone reading this ever hiked up to the Gold Cord Lake and found a nice camera tripod along the ridge, it was mine. I hope you've found it useful. I hiked back up to get it at 3 or 4 in the morning one summer, after realizing it was left behind, but it was gone by then. As I was hiking back down empty-handed, I apparently got too close to a fox den and was chased back down the mountain in a hurry, as the fox circled around me. It would have been a great photo opportunity, had I not been scrambling down a mountain in the middle of the night.

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