What I Did Last Summer

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As a swath of yellow and red takes over the landscape and the temperatures begin their inevitable descent, I find myself reflecting back on our summer’s adventures. We logged well over 1,500 miles kayaking, backpacking, hiking and biking. We had some great bear sightings and saw dozens of moose, hare, eagles and marmots. We found fossils dating back over 50 million years and wore straight through the soles of 5 pairs of hiking boots.

We backpacked for days on end in interior Alaska without seeing another human. We pushed ourselves to our limits and discovered not only the inner strength within ourselves, but in each other as a family.

We experienced the joy of introducing friends to the magic of wilderness and in doing so realized how capable we have become. We learned humility paddling our kayaks alongside sea lions and whales, and grieved for all the animals we would never see again in Prince William Sound since the oil spill.

We were reminded that our bodies are designed to move and do so beautifully outside. We used wilderness as an anecdote for all things grumpy in our house. We perfected the art of cooking pancakes under a drippy tarp on the tundra for ten wet and hungry kids and reveled at the restorative properties of freshly pumped water.

Some friends were recently discussing which season is better—spring or fall. Most said spring because it leads into summer. I agree, summer is pretty great. But as fall transitions us into winter, I’m ready for the next adventure and what lessons lie ahead of us.

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