One of the tough parts of being an outdoor enthusiast in Alaska is that if one of your favorite activities is water-based, you're out of luck for about six months out of the year as waterways and lakes are frozen solid. So when 27-year-old former UAA cross-country ski team member Paul Schauer (YouTube username pschauerak) and seven friends took an April 24 trip to Six Mile Creek -- accessible by the Hope Road off of the Seward Highway, about 1-1/2 hours south of Anchorage -- they weren't about to let a little ice on the river stop them from getting in some whitewater kayaking.
Schauer talked about the day in a post on his blog. "It was really cool to be on what was essentially a new river," he wrote. "The channel was different due to the ice shelves and it was changing as we were on the water. At one point as we were getting out to portage a seventh ice bridge...it broke before our eyes and we were able to boogie under it before it decided to collapse for good." The group had to diligently check for obstacles ahead, and this including dragging their watercraft back ashore and clambering over the still-solid ice that blocked passage at several points on the river.
Roman Dial, another member of the adventurous group, used the unofficial "season opener" to test out his new Alpacka Llama raft, and he wrote about the more than five hours of rafting and portaging on his own blog, with high praise for his new raft.
It's just one more trademark of doing what you love in Alaska -- come hell or ice water.
Read more about the trip -- and other outdoor adventures -- on Schauer's blog at A Day in the Life, Dial's blog at The Roaming Dials, or fellow kayaker Tim Johnson's specifics on the river's hazards at Alaska Whitewater.
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