A Week-Long Alaskan Dream: Mosquito Cove Trail

We gathered in the hospitality room for Alaskan Dream Cruises in Sitka, Alaska, four couples from Michigan, New York City, Minnesota, and Australia. Introductions were made and we sized up our shipmates for the upcoming week. While the Misty Fjord finished its preparations for the Inside Passage cruise departure that afternoon, we were invited to join Alaskan Dream staff on a morning hike in the nearby Tongass National Forest.

The day before had been rainy and gray, so it seemed a good omen that the skies cleared and sun shone as we loaded into the van to hike the Mosquito Cove loop together. Making small talk and taking turns to point out interesting observations, we climbed timbered steps in the temperate rain forest, stepping carefully past piles of bear scat, while large slugs slowly made their way across the trail.

Alaska 2019-05-25 (3)Alaska 2019-05-25 (13)Mosquito Cove Trail ~ Sitka, AK

We learned that only in the cleanest of atmospheres can a certain moss grow — usnea or “Old Man’s Beard” — a gossamer-like thread dancing in the slightest of breeze on the spruce and hemlock branches.  Old Man’s Beard reminded one of the delicate balance within Nature, and John Muir’s quote, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”

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We emerged from the deeply-shaded forest to a cove at low tide, greeted by a world that is revealed periodically as the water recedes: broken shells left behind by ravens and other creatures seeking morsels from within; tiny crabs scurrying under rocks; slow-moving snails carrying smaller travelers on their backs. A person could miss the sub-plots as the allure of the main landscape story drew the eye to the larger vistas across the bay.

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Mosquito Cove, Sitka, AK

Looping back to the trailhead, the clear blue skies yielded unobstructed views of the dormant volcano, Mt. Edgecumbe.

Mt. Edgecumbe, Sitka, AK

We walked the remaining trail back to the van, to return to Sitka before embarking on our cruise adventure later that afternoon.

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Conversation already flowed more freely, and a casual, comfortable vibe was established among our new travel companions after sharing the meditative beauty of the forest together.

~ Kat

Next post: Leaving Sitka on the Misty Fjord

 

10 thoughts on “A Week-Long Alaskan Dream: Mosquito Cove Trail

  1. Looks and sounds like a fun adventure. I look forward to hearing more about it. We’re spending the summer in your neck of the woods and today we’re camped in Two Harbors. I’m getting reacquainted with that word ‘mosquito’ and don’t think I’d be too eager to hike a trail with that word in the name 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Be sure to spend some time in Grand Marais — and make time for a meal at the Naniboujou Lodge, with a hike across the highway on the Devil’s Kettle trail! Let me know if need any ideas depending on where you’re exploring!

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      1. Thanks Kat. We just went to Grand Marais today. Along the way, we took in some waterfalls and Split Rock Lighthouse. We head back to Hayward, WI on Wednesday. I definitely did not plan this excursion long enough. Would love to return in September before we head back to AZ. I could use a fall color fix!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Cher Howland

    What a thoughtful way to get acquainted with your shipmates. Love the visual of the tiny hitchhiker. Truly look up look down. Great way to start a week of wonders.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Leaving Sitka on the Misty Fjord – Travel. Garden. Eat.

  4. Pingback: Destination Baranof Warm Springs – Travel. Garden. Eat.

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