With only 2 days left to field season, we needed to make the best of every opportunity. We came to breakfast with daypacks ready to go, had a bite of food and some coffee and away we went in search of erratics on moraines.
Hiking to moraines is spectacular, grueling and deceptive. In the distance, moraines look like little hills that one can easily walk up and over. However, this 8 mile hike took us almost 11 hours. Nothing is 'little' in Moraine-ville.
As we walked past our own El Capitan, the boulders that had eroded off the face of the cliff made me think of the movie, "Honey I Shrunk the Kids."
Beyond El Capitan, we found ourselves in a marsh-like environment. The arctic cotton grass spotted the landscape and identified the wet regions of the trail. The field of cotton grass made me think that we were walking with the Lorax.
As we approached the higher elevations we were constantly being watched by a massive 16 point caribou. It seemed as we crossed the next ridge, he would be waiting for us. As we got closer he reared up like he was going to take off. Thankfully, Nat had his camera ready and just kept shooting pics. We would not discover how awesome a photographer Nat was until back in the tent that evening.
The view from Moraine-ville was everything we had hoped for. The landscape unfolded a mystery to be solved. What do you think created the parallel lines across the valley?
We stopped on top of a moraine for some crackers, cheese and the sweetest blueberries that I have ever tasted.
While on the moraines, we are looking for erratics to date. This valley did not disappoint us.
While the team worked on collecting the sample, I hiked up to a small waterfall to refill our water bottles. Just as I approached the water, an Arctic Ptarmigan came around a rock and watched me get the water. I have had some pretty interesting close encounters with wildlife this field season and therefore, the team nicknamed me, Snow White.
On our hike back to camp, we came across several antlers. I just couldn't resist...
As we made our way back to camp, you could hear us humming..."Everything is Awesome!"