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The Rex Trail

Posted by on October 3, 2005

Another Alaskan adventure has come to an end. This year (05) we traveled the Rex Trail for Moose season. The Rex Trail is mainly a track rig trail which crosses the Park Hwy at mile 280 and goes either East or West, we went East. The state dept of Fish and Game opened the area past Tatlanika Creek to cow Moose hunting, so I figured we”d see a lot of folks trying to get in, and we did, but not many made it all the way to the Tatlanika river, it’s about 33 miles in.

When we started out it was fairly easily going until you hit your first big mud hole, actually it was more like a small pond, at the 6 mile mark. This part of the trail is at the southern end of a small lake and simply put, mud, water and more mud. A lot of 4 wheelers made it past here, but the majority stayed between it and the road. Once past this first big swamp, it’s not to bad to the first river crossing, the Totatlanika River, about 15 miles from the Parks Hwy. After crossing the Totatlanika we had an easy 3 mile ride at which point we hit our first big open field. This looked like a great place to hunt, lots of feed and open country, but it was a big open field of grass and water. As soon as you left the trees you hit more mud.

From this point on it was pretty tough going, lots of swamp (even more so than the first 17 miles) and lots of sign, mostly Moose and Black Bear. After day 2 we finally made it to the Tatlanika and our 2nd river crossing. The country past the Tatlanika was beautiful and wild and pretty empty of other hunters. I think we saw 3 other camps during the 10 days we were there. More than I’m use to seeing in our hunting area, but not to many that I was concerned about the other hunters.

Dave, Jake and I made a spike camp about 34 miles in and enjoyed a couple days of R and R and hiking. Dave isn’t what I”d call the hiking type, so I did most of the walking, which was great as far as I was concerned. Lots of Alaska wilderness and no one along to disturb me as I explored it.

Well no one except this one owl who must of thought I was a tree in all my cammy. I was hiking about a mile and half from camp and stopped to take a short break. I was just standing there looking around and happened to look up and to my left, imagine my surprise was I saw this owl with his claws extended out in landing position aimed right at my head. Whooo there birdie. I think he was as surprised as I was, as soon as I looked up he looked down and tried to come to a stop in mid air. What he did was a quick divert to the tree I standing next to. This owl must of sat there for 10 minutes eyeing me. I think he was trying to figure out when trees commenced growing faces and eyes…

The one big disappointment to me was that darn Polaris 6 wheeler. After this year I’ve decided to go back to good old Honda ATV’s. I know my 6 wheeler was used when I bought it and in pretty bad shape, but I thought I had gotten it fixed. Well wouldn’t you know it, the more I ride it the more problems show up. Even Jake on his Polaris 400, which was in pretty good shape, was having problems. The only one who didn’t was Dave on his Honda 450 with after market tires, he just crawled through almost every mud hole and swamp we ran into. So I think it’s time to fix up my old Honda TRX 350 with the swamp tires….. She’s hauled a lot of moose meat in years past and I guess she’ll have to do more. 🙂

All in all, it was a difficult and tiring trail, one of the hardest I’ve even ridden, at least to get all the way to the other side of the Tatlanika River, but enjoyable never the less.

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