Friday, April 29, 2011

Wolves & Moose & Bears... Oh My

It is that season where we start to worry about the animals emerging after a long winter. There are some great workshops happening in the area to increase your knowledge of what you should do, should you stumble upon an animal in the wilderness. There are two local events happening in the coming weeks.

1) Alaska Zoo
Sunday, May 8, 12 - 4
This is Mother's Day and moms get free admittance to the zoo. The rest of the family has to pay full regular zoo admittance unless you have a zoo membership.

2)Eagle River Nature Center:
Saturday, May 28, 2pm
Jr. Naturalist Program (Grades K-6th)
Free, but parking $5 if you are not an ERNC member

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Coastal Trail from Westchester Lagoon

What a gorgeous day. So many wonderful new faces. Spring is here! The sandhill cranes were flying overhead on their way further north. Bald eagles were soaring. There were about 42 parents and kiddos combined. Most of the group covered exactly 4 miles. It was amazing to see such a variety of kids at different ages! There were a couple of sub groups with in the groups. All going at their respective speeds as some were carrying their kids, some pushing them in strollers and a substantial bunch with little independent trekkers. We even had a few moms join us from off the trail. We hung out for at least an hour after with the kids playing and snacking.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Anniversary Trek & Tail Gate Party

In Alaska it is easy to let yourself become isolated at home with your child, even in the state's largest metropolis. This group has really helped me not only enjoy why so many people come to the Last Frontier; the great outdoors, model an active lifestyle for my child, but has grounded me by connecting me to some amazing parents. Other moms & dads are a parents best resource!

We hiked for about an hour this morning on the multi-use trails in Kincaid park along Raspberry Rd. & then celebrated a year of trekking with a potluck tailgate party. Lots of yummy treats were to be had. Lia of Skedaddle was of course trying out a cool new piece of gear. We'll have to hear more about it! We were going to use the picnic table & outside pavilion at the park, but it was just too windy on the exposed hill. Some of our trekkers showed off their new walking skills. New parents and kids joined in and some came back with a new second kiddo in tow! We also heard news that a new trekker was born this week! Congrats to Susie and her family!

I also celebrated on the way home and picked up a new (off craigslist) GPS watch to record our hikes distances, elevation gain etc... Oh and maybe it will help with my half-hearted marathon training.

Sometimes the mornings don't go as planned, and some parents and kiddos had to turn around, but that's par for the course. At least they attempted. Everytime you join us for a whole hike or just part, you're laying the groundwork for a lifetime of outdoor adventures. Getting children used to hiking on their own or in a pack takes time and baby steps. Sometimes its hard to just get out the door (that's why I love leading the group... I have to & I need that extra fire under my butt). Sometimes it isn't worth the battle and we try again next week. Don't get discouraged if the first week doesn't go smoothly. Starting a new routine usually isn't easy, at least in my experience.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Babes In the Woods Class - a Prerequisit for the Alaskan Outdoor Parent

Babes In the Woods Class - April 30th - Learn how to stay safe, sane, dry and relatively bug free on the trails of Alaska's backcountry.  Learn where to go, what to bring, and how long to stay with our good friend, Jennifer Aist, author of Babes in the Woods. Click the link to register. This class always fills up fast! I've taken it a couple of times and get something new out of it everytime! 

The class is part of the Parenting with Providence series, hosted by the Providence Children's Hospital. This is a fantastic resource to parents in the area. They host everything from the free weekly Cuddlers group to classes for potty training, infant massage, toddler/infant sign language and a whole lot more! Lia of Skedaddle & I actually met at the Cruisers group there.

Today's Trek Cancelled

Due to extremely high winds, downed trees, a coating of ice and very low visibility, right now at 7:40 on the hillside, today's trek is cancelled.
Hope to see you next week at Kincaid Park! Don't forget to bring a treat to share and we'll do a potluck picnic to celebrate a year of trekking!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Taiga Trekkers Turns One!

It has been a crazy couple of months and I completely lost track of time. I had it stuck in my head that our first hike last year was in April. Looking back through my records it looks like the first hike was March 25th, 2010. The first trek was just another mama, me and our 2 kids, then no one showed up for the second, then 3 for the third and it kept growing from there! We now have about 60 parents who have hiked with us and their kids, not all at one time, but over the course of the year and more joining.

It humbles me to see so many active parents getting outside with their little ones. I feel I have benefited so much from organizing this group! The conversations we have had on the trail have kept me centered, validated my choices as a parent, shown me I'm not alone, and provided me great inspiration for things I can do with my family. In Alaska, so many of us are thousands of miles away from the places we grew up, raising our children with out the help of family close by and our friends truly become our surrogate families! Thank you for being a part of the Trekker family!

We'll have to have a little party after one of the hikes in April to mark the occasion!

It's truly amazing to see how much our children have grown, and how much they love being outside! When we started this group, some of the kids were very new walkers, wobbly on their feet... now they're hiking parts of the trail themselves!

Here's a look back at some of the Treks over the past year!