Crow Creek to Eagle River hike/packraft

It's hard to imagine it here, sitting by a roaring fan in the humid apartment of an old college friend who's been living in Cincinnati--but these images depict a chilly morning in Crow Creek Pass almost 3 weeks ago.

Maleia and I awoke early that Saturday to drive down to Girdwood and hike the pass in week-old snow. The light was beautiful all day long as we walked the 14 miles up and over, passed Raven Glacier, and dropped down to Eagle River. Clouds moved in and out around the sun, creating a beautiful diffusion of light that I couldn't stop photographing.

Maleia's a pretty great back-country partner...she always preparing some pretty amazing meals when we're out and about so, needless to say, when she told me she had a big lunch surprise I was excited. Turns out she'd packed in my favorite Moose's Tooth pizza--Spicy Thai Tofu--just as tasty cold as it is fresh.

We lingered too long for lunch. The river was especially low and we soon found ourselves walking an extra mile-plus downstream to find a decent put-in after a few more tributaries had upped the water volume. Once we'd inflated and loaded our 4 pound packrafts, we focused on covering the 10-or-so miles pretty quickly to make up for lost time. Darkness in late September always seems to approach quickly after being accustomed to the light of the boreal summer and we soon found ourselves looking for an early take-out. We thought we'd just take-out before Echo Bend and make up the extra miles on the trail but as it turns out, we took out just above the rapids and right off the trail! So we donned headlamps and happily finished the day up with 3 miles or so of trail to the Eagle Rive Nature Center. A perfect final autumn adventure before I was to head to the lower-48 for a few weeks.

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