This is the pair of socks that I knit during the trip to Alaska from the extra skeins of my Dye-o-rama sock yarn. They were meant to be for a friend's birthday in August except I may have made them too big. I think the pattern is the Blueberry Waffle Socks since, without having the pattern along with me, I winged it. Yes, now reading that pattern over, I see that it is. I spent much of the flight time knitting and since the pattern was simple, I was able to knit in the car and still see the scenery. They would not have been finished so quickly if we hadn't come across the sign above when we reached the trailhead from where we were planning to hike one day. It read:
caution: recent bear sightings in area. 7/8 Black Bear. 7/9 AGAIN VERY AGRESSIVE BLACK BEAR - STALKING GROUP OF SIX - MULTIPLE CHARGES! DON'T GO!! NOT KIDDING
We were there reading this on 7/10. After already a few hours of driving to see the cabin that C's friend is building in Chickaloon, we were looking forward to getting out and stretching our legs, so it was disappointing to find this sign.
If we had gone on the hike, however, we would not have driven further up the road to this beautiful mountain valley where you can still find remnants of the Archangel Mine (click to see the tiny shack dwarfed by this expansive valley). I can barely imagine the hardiness of the people who lived here and worked that mine. This was the place I wrote about the other day as being almost too much to experience without aching just for being there, one where I had to grit my jaw just to keep the tears from coming, even when I think of it now. The flowers and the lichen covered boulders and sharp mountain ridges were like nothing I can remember seeing before, and yet this kind of landscape is one that speaks to me like no other. This was similar to the kinds of rugged places my parents brought us to as children, including Princess Louisa Inlet in Canada, Glacier National Park, only about 20 miles as the bird flies from where I live now, and the glacial valley of Jostedalen where my grandmother was born and raised, the landscape of my Nordic anscestors. When I left Seattle the first time, I headed straight for a 9,000 foot valley up in the mountains of Colorado. These places live thick in my blood, my experiences, my memories.
I could have stayed there all day and all night just watching the shadows and the light change as the clouds blew by and the sun dipped out of the sky for just the short time that it did there at night this time of year. I regret not getting to hike deeper into those mountians but, like I said, I wouldn't have gotten as much knitting time in if we had gone on that hike and besides, we wanted to return alive to those two little boys back home.
And thank goodness I finished up those socks because I found the motherlode of sock yarn waiting for me when we returned back home! I had actually forgotten this was coming until I saw it in the mailbox and read the label on the package. It was ordered from Shelley at Fun Knits on Quadra Island in British Columbia, not really all that far from Princess Louisa Inlet, by the way. The shipping cost are quite low and the prices are good, especially if you shop her ebay auctions. The Lorna's Laces at the top is in the Fun Knits colorway, the other three are Opal Prisma #1197 and Regia Canadian Collection #4732 Toronto and #4733 Ottawa. She threw in one of these little 10 gram balls of Opal yarn with my order (see the July 5th post of her blog). After the second Trekking pair I'm working on right now for the Trek Along, the orange Opal will be knit up next, a pair of socks requested by my mother for the friend she went skiing and hiking with in Yellowstone this winter and spring.