Saturday, September 26, 2015

Lower Trail Lake and Vagt Lake

On Sunday August 30 we are starting to  near the end of our vacation.  This is the day we were supposed to do a sea kayak trip to Kanai Fjords, paddle around glaciers and possibly see some wildlife.    We tried the kayak trip two days but it was canceled both days due to high winds and ten foot waves.  We were really looking forward to that part of our trip.  We had been training in a kayak at home to prepare for the all day trip.  We brought rain pants, paddling gloves and extra layers of quick dry clothing for that adventure.  I even had a waterproof camera from my friend John Barrett. This will have to be something we try again on our next trip to Alaska.

Instead we decided to explore some of the area around Moose Pass.   We picked the Lower Trail Lake and Vagt Lake.  That's not a typo, the name of the lake is Lower Trail Lake.

Lower Trail Lake
Looking for Wildlife
What a cold day!   The winds were pretty strong and created white caps on that little lake.   This was not the day for photographing beautiful reflections in the surface of a calm lake. We walked along the shore for a while watching for wildlife.  All we saw were some Sea Gulls and dead fish washed up on shore.   I think the sea gulls were there for an easy meal.

We left the shores of Lower Trail Lake and headed up the Vagt Lake Trail.  This easy 4 mile hike took us through forests carpeted with green plants and plenty of mushrooms. Some of the online reviews of this trail say it's only for fishermen to get to Vagt Lake, but we found it to be interesting and had some pretty spots along the way.

Sometimes it's difficult to stop and set up to take macro (close up) photos along a trail like this.   When I set up my tripod will often block the path.  I have to set up and make the shot before having to move the tripod to let another hiker pass by.   This was not a problem on this hike.   We had the forest and trail to ourselves.

I think this would be a great place for the mythical little men known as Leprechauns.  According to legend, they eat nettles and berries.  Leprechauns love Mushrooms especially mushroom tea. We had all three in abundance. We didn't see any.  Maybe they saw us first?
Mushrooms and Bunchberries

The Bunchberries were plentiful along the trail.   A member of the dogwood family, these grow close to the ground.  In the early summer they have white flowers like the dogwood tree and in late summer their berries turn bright red.

Field of Cotton-Grass

After taking a fisherman's trail part of the way around Vagt Lake, we back tracked and found a nice little beach area.  It was obviously used for camping and fishing at times.  Still no one in sight.  We did see plenty of animal tracks all along the trail. We were certainly staying alert for bear on this trail!

Not Exactly A Sea Kayak

Vagt Lake

It was still pretty windy and while there were no white caps on Vagt Lake, we weren't going to see any reflections of the mountains in the lake today.   There were these beautiful grasses growing along the lake shore.  They were swaying in the wind like wheat in a field.

After a lunch break at the fisherman's camp, we headed back down the trail and out.

Tomorrow's blog post will be about Tonsina Point,  Tonsina Creek, and hundreds of salmon.

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