For the month of December and into January, we’d like to share some of the Salsa Crew's and our sponsored riders' favorite moments from 2015. By all accounts, it's been a great year!
Journal Entry: June 13th, 2015
“Today we awoke to rain showers and wind, so we opted to keep our bikes assembled and push around the next point to see what the terrain had to offer. At Point Couverden, where Lynn Canal meets Icy Straight, there is a barrier island archipelago. Upon rounding the point, I realized that my bearspray had slipped out, but thankfully I found it by re-tracing my steps. Once inside the shelter of the islands, we inflated our rafts. One of the seams on my [inflatable packraft] trailer had popped yesterday, and now it doesn’t trim quite right. To hear a loud ‘POP’ while paddling a single baffle boat is very startling, by the way. Once afloat we had some calm paddling, but hit some rough water when we struck the straight. Thankfully it was following [in our favor]. We were once again lured to shore by what looked like smooth beach. Some was rideable–some, in fact, very nice.
Bjorn got photos of me standing near the edge with several orcas nearby ...
"Then the most amazing thing happened. Bjorn spotted orcas just offshore. We stopped to watch, and soon realized that they were fishing, very actively bursting at the surface, and a huge male would occasionally surface slowly and elegantly. Then they moved in toward the shore just where we were, corralling the fish and trapping them in the rocky reef! There were seven total, and the male had two large notches at the top of his dorsal fin. It seemed as though the large female and male were schooling the fish in, while the youngsters came in very close to shore, tails splashing, lounging forward, and surfing the swell. We ran down to the low tide rocks to watch as they came within 50 feet of the shore's edge!
"Eventually they worked their way down the coast, and out of sight. We worked our way along as well and put in for a short evening paddle before finding a campsite under some cliffs and lichen-clad trees. The weather has calmed again, and the showers have subsided for now.”
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I like to cover a lot of ground, but racing and finishing routes quickly is not usually a primary goal of mine. In the winter, I ride snow machine/dog sled trails, which can stretch for hundreds of miles across the frozen Alaskan landscape. In the summer, a combination of beach riding, pack rafting, trail riding, and 'bike-whacking' allows for innovative and explorative routes.