Some 43 hearty walkers, runners and bike riders participated in the Chilkat River Walk Saturday. A few participants had family members ferry them dry clothes and most made an abbreviated version of the annual 23-mile trek between Klukwan and Haines. About six went the whole distance.
“I was amazed. I couldn’t believe it when I counted (participants) all up. It was horrible out there,” said Pam Sloper, a Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium employee who helped plan the event. About $800 was raised for a local travel fund for cancer victims.
Stan Hotch of Klukwan went the entire distance, accompanied most of the way by youngsters Kyle Strong, Steven and Logan Hotch and Rodney Williamson.
In dripping clothes near 8 Mile Saturday afternoon, the boys said the wind at 13 Mile left them clinging onto a guardrail. Sightings, they said, included a dead duck and a pile of bear scat.
After hitchhiking the last few miles, two of the boys made their way to the Haines School, and were bound for the swimming pool. “We’re just going to jump in and relax,” Steven Hotch said.
Kyle Strong said he has finished the entire river walk previously. “But this year it was too crappy.”