Dates: July 21 – 25, 2017 (Plus logistics on the evening of the 20th and morning of the 26th)
Application Deadline: June 7
Difficulty: Long intense days, class 2-3 whitewater, rough trails
Approximate Trip Costs: $200/person (Covers water taxis from/to Homer, shared meals, group maps, and InReach.) (Extra water taxi costs may be assessed if high southeasterly winds necessitate a pickup in Eldridge Passage.)
Distance: 10 miles trail hiking, 11-mile optional day-hike, 20 miles ocean & lake paddling, 12 miles on rivers
Duration: 5 days, 4 nights
Leaders: Hig (Bretwood Higman), Nick Riordan, Theresa Lundquist
Guest Naturalist: Erin McKittrick (intertidal ecosystems)
Group Size: 10-14 (including leaders)
This is a scientific expedition, exploring change in a dynamic environment. Glacial retreat, huge tides, avulsing rivers, and disrupted forests drive rapid transformation. By threading through the trails and waterways of Kachemak Bay State Park, we’ll see much of what the park has to offer, and use science to look into the region’s past and future.
July 20 Convene that evening in Homer with hosts Bjorn and Kim
July 21: Head to the park by water taxi first thing in the morning. Spend the day hiking and paddling near Grewingk Lake, documenting glacial retreat, and studying the traces of the 1967 landslide and tsunami.
July 22: Optional 11 mile alpine day hike in the morning, followed by a paddle down the Grewingk River to the ocean, wrapping up with a beach hike to Rusty’s Lagoon.
July 23: Explore the ecosystem exposed by extreme low tides with local naturalist Erin McKittrick, then paddle to a 5-mile trail hike to the Woznosenski River through forests being transformed by climate change.
July 24: Paddle the Wosnesenski River with a stop to investigate an impending major change in course for the river. End on the coast amongst trees killed by the 1964 earthquake.
July 25: Explore another low tide with Erin in a very different environment, then paddle past sea caves and arches along Eldridge Passage to finish up a Jakalof Harbor. Dinner and camp/couchsurf at Hig & Erin’s place in Seldovia.
July 26: Cleanup/packup and take water taxi back to Homer, or stay in Seldovia .
Participants must be comfortable camping in conditions that could be wet and cold, and capable of cautious paddling on rivers where rapids and sweepers change regularly. Comfort with class III rapids is recommended. This trip includes several approximately 1 mile open-water crossings. No special skills or experience are needed, but paddlers should be psychologically prepared for the feeling of a small boat in a big ocean, and in these situations it’s important to work as a group, sticking together and making conservative decisions. Some of the lake and ocean paddling is also fairly long – up to 9 miles in a day, so paddling endurance will be relevant, and everyone should have modern packrafts with a long pointy stern, not a round stern.
To be considered as a participant on this trip, please apply HERE.
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