Steve is from Alaska: Part 2

May 28th, 2013
 
 

Hey! Hope you guys survived the memorial day weekend. I went for a quick float down Willow Cr. on Friday and thought you might like a write up for the archives.

I’ve been fortunate enough to make a trip back to my old stomping grounds in Willow, AK this spring. So naturally I decided to impulsively float Willow Creek at 8’o’clock on a Friday evening. I didn’t have to worry about it getting dark since it only gets twilight at 2am.

Photo: Steve Pilch

So I aired up my 8 foot cataraft and slid off the ice covered banks intending for my float to the Parks Highway to take about 4 hours. Last fall there was severe flooding in almost all of the river drainages in the Matanuska Susitna Valley. Willow Creek had its fair share of problems too. Washed out bridges, destroyed property, houses lost and the river rerouted in a few areas. I got to see it all during my float. It was a mess! Trees, cars and a couple houses in the river. I ended up portaging around a lot of log jams and I swear that raft gained 20lbs every time I pulled it up on the bank. There must have been 6 to 8 beavers I spotted in that 4 mile section of river along with 3 moose eating alders. Even with all the portaging and bushwhacking I still made it miraculously to the take out in 3 hours. It was a very humbling trip. No matter how peaceful and familiar a river can be it can all change in a heartbeat.

Looking forward to returning to Alder Creek next week!

-Steve

Photo: Steve Pilch
Photo: Steve Pilch
Photo: Steve Pilch
Photo: Steve Pilch