Paddling around Cook Inlet and 'becoming one with mud'

AnchorageMay 29, 2013 

Glacial silt with patterns created by the ingoing and outgoing tides on the edge of Turnagain Arm along the Seward Highway on Wednesday, March 13, 2013

BOB HALLINEN — Anchorage Daily News archive Buy Photo

Yurt-dwelling Seldovia couple Erin McKittrick and Bretwood Higman are already well-known among Alaska outdoors types for their ambitious expeditions -- in recent years accompanied by their two young children. They faithfully document their journeys on their Ground Truth Trekking blog. Now the family is in the middle stages of an 800-mile paddling voyage around Cook Inlet, and the region's famous glacier-silt mud is proving a challenge.

McKittrick writes: It took over our gear. I pulled a grape-sized chunk of compacted silt out of my shoe, which had gained half again its weight in clay-like paste. Both shoes finally burst out the sides, as the silt squeezed out all the space for my feet. Each time I blew up the sleeping pads, I could feel the grit between my teeth. It formed a fine gray dust that rained out of everything we owned — pouring from every drybag, shaking from every piece of clothing. It mixed with the layers of sunblock to form a dark grey makeup that eventually took 15  minutes of scrubbing to remove from my face. Even now, after several days in Anchorage, I find little pockets of Turnagain buried deep within our stuff.

Follow the family's summer voyage at Ground Truth Trekking, or via their Facebook and Twitter posts.

Anchorage Daily News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service