Up Perserverance Trail

Juneau Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 9 › view all entries
After taking in the splendor of the morning, we decided that it was time to get serious and venture out to Perseverance Trail, to take pictures of old mining remains that were left behind. The trail follows the path of the railways, roads, and foot paths that took the miners to their gold. Perseverance Trail was also known as being the first road in Juneau during the time of the Gold rush. After paring the car we headed down the trail to the mining museum that was nestled away in yet another plush forest of towering green Sitka Spruce. You can still catch glimpses of people scouring the creek beds panning for gold (which now apparently involves rubber gloves and plastic plates) in hopes of possibly finding the mother load that might have been overlooked by professional miners (tongue in cheek) that made Alaska what it is today.

 After a quick glimpse of present day gold miners it was upward and onward starting our two hour one way trip up the trail which started out passing by an old boarded up entrance to the original mine (complete with electronic security alarms).The combination of construction to widen the trail along with earlier rains made the trail a muddy mess in spots, but for the most part it was a pleasant climb thanks to the graveled path up the side of the mountain. The main obstacles up the mountain were the steady stream of people taking advantage of the partly cloudy (but not rainy) weather which has forced people indoors for most of the year. The first thing I noticed early on was that undoubtedly one of the prerequisites for being a resident of Juneau is the fact that you must own either a dog (and BIG ones at that. Little ones just become appetizers for the bears, and can't keep up on the hikes) or a boat or preferably both, with the ratio of dogs being two to one. It seemed like the whole town was "walking" their dogs, (maybe walking is the wrong word because there were mainly dogs pulling their owners either up or down the path) with almost reckless abandon forcing the struggling owners to either keep up or or letting go of the leashes and hopefully catching up to the dog at the bottom.

Halfway up the mountain we saw a spectacular view of Ebner Falls rushing down the middle of the valley to the creek beds below. Even though the thunderous sound of the massive amounts of water cascading over the rocks as if someone turned on a faucet full blast 1000 times over created a peacefull, surreal, calming, sensation to the weariest of travelers the Falls still had a recent history of devestation and tragedy swirling around one of the nearby picnic sites that used to adorn the Falls.

The only marking left to remember the untimely death of 10-year old Brittany Mills is a hollow tree stump that holds wilted arrangements of mums, carnations, and eagle feathers. Brittany just happended to be in town with her church group hiking up the mountain deciding to stop at the picnic area to cool off.  She wadded out too cool off from the noon day sun (did I say sun) and slipped on some rocks, being swept up by the rushing water to her premature death.  A group of eight children and two adults travelled from their hometown of Kake to the Southest Assembly of God church camp.




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photo by: amudha_colaco