Essay On Trekking

by Erin McKittrick:  

Essays in the Alaska Dispatch News and other publications

It was the middle of March, nearly a year ago. My family of four had flown into Nome around the time a lot of people fly to Nome. Iditarod fans filled the streets. But I was a hundred yards offshore of downtown.Erin McKittrick

February 28, 2016

Umnak Island is part of the Fox Islands in the Aleutian chain, one step farther west than Unalaska. Population: 22 humans, 7,500 cows.Erin McKittrick

November 1, 2015

This is the most remote run the Alaska ferry system makes. Every two weeks between May and September, the 51-year-old Tustemena leaves Seldovia for the 900-or-so-mile run to Dutch Harbor, stopping at Homer, Kodiak, Chignik, Sand Point, King Cove, Cold Bay, False Pass and Akutan along the way.Erin McKittrick

August 9, 2015


Tidepool wonder: Kachemak Bay low tide reveals richness in color, life

Claws scuttle across pearly pink ground. Crimson tufts erupt from the ends of tangled white tubes. A wavering tentacle probes from behind a thicket of brown. Then — a monstrous crash...Erin McKittrick, Jul 5, 2015 

Visiting where the first Americans may have tread 

The winds died. The craggy cliffs disappeared. The world turned flat and white. Sometimes, heading down the beach in the morning, when it looked just the same as yesterday and the kids wanted to play “Pooh and Piglet and the Sabertooth Tiger” and “Pretend Easter Egg Hunt in the Mud Melt Holes” -- just the same as yesterday -- the world seemed endless...Erin McKittrick, May 31, 2015 

Walking a windswept 500 miles to Kotzebue with 2 kids

Bryan Weyauvanna stepped off his snowmachine, gulped the last of his thermos of coffee, and gestured at one of the mountains behind Cape Woolley, pastel pink in the setting sun. “That mountain? It’s 3870 on the map, but in my language, it’s Singatook. And when you see a cloud up there, that means it’s going to be windy.”...Erin McKittrick, Apr 12, 2015

Getting up close and personal with Alaska's coastline

By some measures, Alaska has more than 49,000 miles of coastline, more than the Lower 48 states combined. The closer you look, the longer the shore gets. With ShoreZone, it's almost possible to zoom in until every barnacle and pebble stands out in sharp relief.Erin McKittrick

February 20, 2015

Mesmerized by maps: Dreaming of Alaska adventures

Spread out the maps and start dreaming. In winter, Alaska explorers pore over maps, imagining the possibilities of next year's trip. Erin McKittrick

December 7, 2014

Perhaps we just have nothing else to talk about out here in the sticks. But weather is fascinating. Inescapable. I always seem to be plunging myself right into it, skating down a trail-turned-mudslide with a gaggle of gooey children, stumbling into the sting of driving snow, or holding a tent against the shuddering wind. Even getting sunburned.

September 6, 2014

A 10-day journey with four young children in tow shows the beauty of Alaska's oldest state park.Erin McKittrick

August 9, 2014

Two and Two Halves to the Malaspina

Despite storms flooding their tent, high winds pelting them with sea spray and a continuous stream of dirty nappies, Erin McKittrick has nothing but good memories of crossing Alaska’s Malaspina Glacier with her husband and two small children

UK Geographical, August 2014

Thousands of Alaskans live without indoor plumbing; for some, it's due to a lack of alternatives. But for others, it's a lifestyle choice, a chance to commune with nature on the walk down the path, with a view of the mountains and the woods.Erin McKittrick

June 10, 2014

I miss pavement more often than I'd like to admit. I fantasize about a beautiful paved bike trail winding through the hills, far from the dust clouds of the gravel road. Erin McKittrick

May 16, 2014

Spring in Alaska is the season of sea stars, sunglasses, seedlings and skis. Sometimes finding jaw-dropping wonder is as simple as a change in elevation.Erin McKittrick

April 29, 2014

We build Alaska out of what we bring in from Washington state on four container ships a week. And then we send Alaska back -- but 80 percent of those containers return to Tacoma empty.Erin McKittrick

December 14, 2013

For someone accustomed to traveling by foot and raft, at a pace of 200 miles per month, even taking the ferry in Southeast Alaska can feel blisteringly fast. But there's certainly time enough to contemplate the surroundings. Erin McKittrick

November 3, 2013

Television people making reality shows toss around words "grid" and "off-grid," but they don't really care about electricity, which is what connects us. They concentrate on pieces of disconnection evident in rural or rustic Alaska lives.Erin McKittrick

September 21, 2013

Now vs. Never vs. Later

Natural Gas in Cook Inlet and the pitfalls of short-term planning.  The Case for Leaving Wealth in the Ground. (2012)

As the Beaches Wash Away

Global warming and its impacts on coastal erosion, as explored through an journey to Alaska's Malaspina Glacier. (2012)

Running with Red Dog

As we traveled through the region, I tried to discover whether Red Dog Mine was a godsend to the local economy, a disaster waiting to happen, or maybe all of the above? (2010)

Reflections on Glacier Bay

- by Erin McKittrick.  From the Journey on the Wild Coast, originally published in National Parks Magazine (Winter 2010).

The Dead and the Dying

A journey through the diminishing glaciers of the southern Kenai Peninsula with three generations of family. (2009)

Lost Forests on the Lost Coast

A short expedition to explore remediation, rebirth, and the aftermath of logging on the Gulf of Alaska coast (2009).

A Long Trek Home photoessay

- by Erin McKittrick.  Published in Wend Magazine (Summer 2009).

The Fruits of Insanity

A cold and windy February odyssey in the Kenai Fjords. Or how a pair of unusual people feed off eachother to produce something a little bit wonderful, and a little bit insane. (2007)

Where Threatened Waters Flow

A journey through the watersheds downstream of the proposed Pebble Mine, through wilderness, communities, and an uncertain future.(2006)

Proposed Mine Endangers Bristol Bay

- by Erin McKittrick.  From the Alaska Wilderness League Newsletter (February 2007, page 6.)

Site of the Proposed Pebble Mine

- by Erin McKittrick.  A photo essay on my 2005 trip to the Pebble Mine site in Environment News Service. Or read it on my page


And read trip journals from over a dozen older trips on our old AK Trekking website.


by David Coil

Metals Recycling: A Necessary Start

A discussion on the complexity and necessity of metals recycling, focusing on aluminum as an example. (2010)

Reconsidering the "Value" of Gold

Thoughts on the arbitrary value of gold, as contrasted with the environmental destruction caused by mining it. (2010)

by Others


Walking on Oil

-by Andrew Mattox (2012).  Modern day backpacking, synthetic gear, and the realization that we are all made of oil.

New Eyes, Old Ice: My First Glacier Experience

-by Mike Borden (2012).  An account of a photojournalism trek to Grewingk Glacier on the Kenai Peninsula.

Circling the sound

- by Bjorn Olson and Kim McNett (2011).  A journey essay describing an environmentally-focused circumnavigation of Prince William Sound in a homemade kayak during summer 2010.

Close Encounter with a Grizzly Bear

- by Mike Borden (2010). A detailed account of a dangerous grizzly encounter in southcentral Alaska, along with practical information about bear safety and bear spray.







Benefits of Trekking - Good for the Mind, Body and Soul

Posted on Thu, 06 Nov 2014 12:30:44 by Arun Joshi

Embarking on an adventure holiday is probably the best way to have some fun-filled time and to test one’s stamina and endurance levels. There are not many adventure activities apart from trekking that offer as much excitement and thrill. The urge to test one’s physical endurance, discover unknown territories, understand the fragility of mountain ecology, study the existence of flora and fauna at high altitude, and learn about distinct geography is what drives people towards trekking. The scope of discovering the many hidden secrets of Nature in a fun-filled environment makes trekking no less than a crash course in Nature. Trekking is an activity that challenges the physical as well as the mental aspects of an adventure fanatic. This adventure activity offers an amazing adrenaline rush and you will be really surprised to know that trekking also leads to some permanent benefits. Let’s explore some of the positives of trekking.

[ Get Best Deals on Trekking in Himalayas Adventure Tour Packages ]

Whole Body Workout

One of the major benefits of trekking is that it leads to the whole body workout that helps in improving the health significantly. It is an activity that continuously tests strength (particularly of the legs) of individuals. During trekking, our body is constantly on the move due to which the muscles get stretched, like when a trekker tries to cross a lake or climb a mountain. When the trekker heads home after completing the trekking expedition, he/she will carry along a newfound energy and peace of mind.

Reduces Stress

Many people from different parts of the world carry out trekking expedition in various parts of India just to get away from the troubles of day-to-day life and to give themselves a much needed break; and what better way to achieve spiritual fulfillment than through trekking in India. Trekking is a proven solution for reducing stress while at the same time having an enjoyable time. It is indeed a great outdoor activity that offers a wonderful opportunity to the adventure lovers to feel refreshed and knock out negative thoughts. During your trekking expedition, you would get many opportunities to marvel at the enchanting vistas of nature and it will definitely helps you to erase many of your worries.

[You may like to read: Top 7 Indian Himalaya Treks – Leading to Supreme Excitement]

Good for the Overall Health of the Body and Joint Problems

It cannot be denied that trekking requires great stamina for it involves physical tasks like crossing rugged terrains, bridges; climbing high mountain peaks and so on. Trekking in the Indian sub-continent is invariably an unforgettable and pleasurable experience. According to several physicians and health experts, trekking, besides being an adventure activity can also be considered as a very good exercise to build muscles of the arms and legs. That is not all as the continuous walking over long periods of time helps in minimizing blood pressure and reduces the pain in the joints.

Bonding with Family Members

If you are trekking with your family members, then it goes a long way in strengthening the bond of love and trust between the family members. It is always a very memorable experience. Most of the times our frenetic lifestyle sucks us dry and hardly leaves us enough time to bond and spend precious moments with our beloved family members. So whenever you get some free time it is the moment to make up for lost time and make amends, and trekking is just the ideal tool for the purpose. Trekking allows you to spend quality time with your near and dear ones, and since you also get to learn so much about each other while dealing with the obstacles that trekking throws at you, you get to learn more about one another. It certainly helps you to spend some enjoyable moments with them and have the best holiday experience that you cherish for a long time.

Enjoy the Stunning Outdoors

Trekking is certainly meant for all those people who just love to spend time outdoors witnessing the many splendors and facets of nature. One of the great things about this particular activity is that it provides an enthralling experience to those who want to enjoy the tranquility and serenity provided by the environment. The verdant landscapes, beautiful backdrops and clear blue waters will even draw the attention of the unwilling individuals to embark on a trekking tour.

New Culture Acquaintance

People in the remote areas on many occasions have been forced to live a harsh life and are not very conversant with the way of life of tourists who travel here from and different parts of India and abroad. While trekking, one would come across language barriers, and the resourceful ones among them will by the end of tour even manage to overcome these barriers which would be nothing less than victory of the human spirit. Some villagers might behave with hostility towards the travelers, so it is important to not do things that may touch their sentiments and always be polite and diplomatic. But they constitute only a very small fraction of the villagers, who otherwise are very accommodating and warm always eager to help the traveler. India is culturally diverse, trekking in the different terrains dotting across its vast area would give you an idea just how diverse and unique they are from one another. You can in fact do a case study as well on the different tribes and communities inhabiting there! Differences can be observed in the lifestyle, food habits, cooking methodology, community participation, festivals, among others.

[You should also read: 10 Essential Trekking Tips For Beginners]

The Sky Appears Brighter in these Unpolluted Regions

Trekking is generally undertaken in serene and tranquil places that are away from the noise of pollution that are normally associated with cities. Pollution in some cities have reached such levels that it blocks the sky; so people in such places get deprived of the charm of watching the morning sky in its full glory or the sunset in its most glamorous. Almost all the trekking destinations in India are serene and free from anthropogenic pollutions and give travelers memorable experiences that they will cherished for years to come. Popular regions where trekking can be carried out in India include Uttarakhand, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Rishikesh. The sky appears clear and romantic, a picture many amongst you would love to share with your loved ones when you camp on the way during the trek.

Marvel at Amazing Wildlife

Trekking in destinations throbbing with exotic wildlife is an excitement in itself. However, before you head off for trekking, do make sure that you have all the trekking essentials in place. Also, do some research work on the place you have chosen for the trekking expedition, nearby places to visit, best place to stay, and other such information.. Wildlife watching is an excellent activity to do during trekking as it gives a great chance to augment your knowledge about the habitat of the animals, their diet and behavior.


Many photography enthusiasts come from various nooks and corners of the world for trekking in different parts of India to capture the beautiful images through their digital cameras. Many trekking destinations in India are replete with stunning natural beauty and serene locations. The images that you capture here are not like any other photo that you forget in a few days after posting in your Facebook or G+ account, but it will leave a deep imprint in your heart; more importantly, it can even encourage others to visit these wonderful destinations.

Where to Begin in Himalayas

You can experience all the good things mentioned here in the enchanting Himalayan regions of India. Trekking in the Indian Himalayas includes regions of Garhwal, Ladakh and Sikkim offering some of the most challenging treks. Many of these destinations are located in some of the remotest areas and are covered with various hill villages and towns where exceptional sights of unheard and unseen culture could be glimpsed. Trekking in Dodital, Chopta Chandrashila, Dayara Bugyal, Auli Gorson Bugyal, Har Ki Dun Valley, Kedar Kantha trek and Nag Tibba in Garhwal; Frozen River, Ladakh Zanskar, Markha Valley, Nubra Valley, Indus Valley and Tsomoriri Lake Trek in Ladakh; and Dzongri – Goecha La, Green Lake, Rhododendron Trek, Singalila Sandakphu, Kanchenjunga BC Trek in Sikkim are great trekking destinations to start your trekking expenditure in the country.

It is quite clear that trekking is one of the best ways to get rid of the stress, which is a result of our modern lifestyle, and to rejuvenate the mind, body and soul. The benefits that individuals can derive by embarking on a trekking tour in India are too many to count. So, what are you looking for? Apply for a leave from your office today, book a trekking expedition and get refreshed in the lap of the Mother Nature.

About Arun Joshi

A thoroughbred adventurer, Arun Joshi was born in the picturesque and landlocked district of Chamoli, Uttarakhand. He is well known for his close association with the Indian Himalayas for the past 16 years, and knows the region inside out. His vast knowledge and first-hand experience of trekking to the many challenging regions of the Indian Himalayas have also helped him to establish himself as the go-to guide in the region.

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