Families — Parents — Kids

The Cold Sucks? Try Winter Hiking In Alaska. Yeah, with Children.

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Ahhhh-laska. Alaska. In the words of James Taylor - in a song about an entirely different place but sets the mood: "I've never been but I'd sure like to go."  Now I have a whole new reason to get up there. The Last Frontier, as Alaska is nicknamed, is home to The Taiga Trekkers, a group of parents who meet on a weekly basis to hike. Adventure parents at the root, no matter the season.

"We certainly aren't sprinting up the trails, we take our time and wait for each other to tend to our children's needs . . .We may not all travel the same average speed, but make sure that no one is ever alone, that there are always two adults together. This way we do not need to worry about keeping the entire pack together."

So evocative of the old African axiom, "it takes a village to raise a child," isn't it? Of course, I have this tender spot for Alaska in my mind. I've never been and I've romanticized the place for nigh 35 years now. So I could very well be over-doing it here.

In case you didn't know, adventureparents.com is produced, headquartered, and otherwise held-together-by-duct-tape-sweat-and-love in Arizona. The Sonoran Desert. The desert is not all I know, but the desert is where I put down roots; my yard is gravel and cactus, no grass, and I surely only see snow in pictures. So forgive me if I'm flipping my lid at something that might be nothing new to you. But I think it's way cool to take your jogger-stroller and strap skis to the wheels, fashioning it into a sled that you tow behind you so you can take your little one on a hike. That's what the Taiga Trekkers do when that white stuff covers the ground. I think it's awesome; they think it's just normal everyday stuff.

Hiking in the snow, in the dire cold of Alaska, means taking on some foreign-to-us-desert-rats measures. Namely bundling the children to the point of near non-recognition. I'm out of words here, so I'll say it like this: it's just cool to see a group like this.

I love this tip from January 5th: "Due to the recent warm weather and the subsequent refreezing, the trails are extremely slick. Tomorrow's trail will require ice grippers for your shoes."  Ice grippers? Yeah did you have to look that one up, too?

Raise your glass to the Taiga Trekkers, good reader. They've got it dialed in.  Being with friends, getting outside, doing what they love. If you move to Alaska, you have like-minded folk already in place.

On the web: http://taigatots.blogspot.com/

Comments   

 
Harmony
+2 / 0
# Harmony 2011-01-11 16:59
Thanks for the sweet write-up! Never really thought of us as hardcore! I know we are lucky to live in such an amazing place, but it's cool to see it from an outside perspective. Give us a shout if you make our way.
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Mark Stephens
+1 / 0
# Mark Stephens 2011-01-12 12:19
Awesome. I'll come with sled.... :-)
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Jen Aist
+2 / 0
# Jen Aist 2011-01-11 23:51
Love these mamas and papas! Way to get out there no matter the weather. What lucky kids.
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Mark Stephens
0 / 0
# Mark Stephens 2011-01-12 12:21
Agreed, Jen. Thanks for checking in!
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Jan Kitzing
0 / 0
# Jan Kitzing 2011-02-01 14:41
Oh, if only I had my life to live over! What a marvelous thing to do! As many lower 48 people I long to visit Alaska, and read everything I an find! Thanks for sharing this post!
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Michael
+1 / 0
# Michael 2011-04-20 14:54
Living in Anchorage, Alaska and being on the cusp (
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Eliza
+1 / 0
# Eliza 2012-11-05 17:39
I'm another Taiga Trekker just here to say thanks for the fun write-up! It's funny; the idea of hiking with my son in freezing weather doesn't bother me in the slightest. But the idea of hiking with him in a desert? Where there are creepy crawly poisonous biting things? Yikes! :-)
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Piggyback Rider
0 / 0
# Piggyback Rider 2012-11-19 18:42
Looks like this crew will be ready for a Piggyback Rider soon. We'll honor a group order. Ride the Bar!
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Sara
0 / 0
# Sara 2013-03-11 13:14
How do you become a part of this group?
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Mark Stephens
0 / 0
# Mark Stephens 2013-03-11 22:06
It looks like you can join an outing through this page at meetup:
www.meetup.com/.../
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