A Wee Alaska Treasure Hunting Expedition

Have you ever seen an Alaska adventure? Well, Alaska is a wonderful place to visit. The state boasts of a rich diversity of people and places. There are more than 40 state parks, 58 state forests and 22 national parks located within the borders of Alaska. In this article I would like to share some experiences during a recent vacation expedition to Alaska.

On a beautiful late November weekend morning I met up with the Teton Wilderness Family Camp outside ofean Washington. We were members of a volunteer group called “Pack it In, Pack it Out”. Our fellow members had kindly given us a 10 lb. pack with a 60 lb. capacity in the lower back area. melty water, Olympia freeze dried food, first aid kit, prep items for cooking and drinking water. We were also given a 30 day supply of food. As we proceeded to Teton Village – armed with a litany of outdoor cooking gear, we happily set out for a day’s hike towards Lake Creek.

Lake Creek is an amazingly beautiful lake which supplies fishing, pleasure boating and countless campsites year round for people to pitch a tent and spend a few nights under the stars. Situated about 90 minutes west of Seattle, the lake covers fifty square miles and is a popular vacation destination for those who travel to the Pacific Northwest.

On our way to the campground we passed through a wide variety of interesting places and people. People of all ages seemed to be on a mission to help us find some of the elusive wildlife so prevalent in the area. We passed by herds of pinkish deer and boys avidly fishing using small plastic pails as bait. I can remember being very intrigued by this story because I had never seen anything quite like it.

At the campground we found a number of campsites but we avoided camping near the campsite where our neighbors had made previous bathroom runs. After a couple of trips to the shower house we reestablished camp near a berm that separates the two areas.

We set up our tent in the evening and had a good night’s sleep. It was a hole in the ground but it had been filled with pine needles and recommended camping in a narrow strip of rocks where we were fairly protected from the weather.

Our neighbors on the other hand were lost sheep. They had stopped for a couple of bites before we heard the crunch of a grande deliciously hot swag on the ground next to our pit. That evening we couldn’t wait to tell the police who had found their trail. It turned out that the sheep had been attracted to some kind of warning scent and attacked. One of the hikers had cut a toilet pole in half and was trying to fit it back into its holder. I think it was a man, but I’m not positive. Anyway the police thought it was a man with a cowboy hat on, but then again they may have been whistle blowing enterprising young bucks.

As we came up next to the lake we noticed some large sheep leaning over the rocks about 150 feet away. We instantly charged like a prowling cat into the middle of the lake. There we waited until the seconds were seconds, until the eagles had skimmed over the lake in a wide circular motion, almost as if they were on a skid, and then they were out of our view.

It was now apparent that the trail was going again the right way for the next hour, so we kept to the path and went a little ways down the mountain. As we came to the fork in the trail I was very happy to see the trail straight ahead, and not turning left at the fork. The trail ahead looked even dirtier than the one on the left, so I kept hoping they hadn’t followed us into the lake. I saw a couple of wet foot prints in the mud, which confirmed our suspicion that we had been watched, or were previous inhabitants of the area.

Looking back toward the shoreline we saw someone get away with a pair of binoculars. They had to have been either an Indian scout or a reserve member. It was also during a time when the lake was very clear. There were clouds swirling around the lake and the towerFall of Man always brings precipitation. Maybe they were having a late afternoon party.

From the vantage point of the triangular shelter, we watched the people in the distance go for a swim. Some were getting in the water quickly, others seemed to be taking a leisurely stroll. observer, I was beginning to learn what my people thought about this strange cult that visits, or visited, their village.

Up close, the characteristics of this strange society became clearer. smelled of sweat, everywhere. Shoes and shirt and pants always around. Wearing a light brown Mosquito net, and carrying a small water container. Some carried a white pillow with a golden handle. I realized my people had arrived.