Thursday, July 16, 2015

beating the Alaskan heat: knik river days

We've had unusually warm weather nearly non-stop since the beginning of spring this year in Alaska. And just for the record 'unusually warm' refers to anything over 75°F, especially when it lasts for more than a few days in a row. Now before you laugh, 80°F in Alaska just feels differently than it does in many places downstates and also, we don't have air conditioning in our homes here. 

Finding fun ways to get out and enjoy the heat with kids is as easy as finding a safe and cozy spot next to some water. It can be a lake, a river or even the ocean, depending on where you are in the state. Beaches offer a magical combination of rocks and sticks and water, and kids of all ages will play contentedly for hours under the right conditions. Just be sure to throw a blanket and some towels in your trunk, and pack plenty of water and some snacks too for maximum enjoyment.

I usually put the kids in their swimsuits and lather on the sunscreen while still at home so it has a chance to start working before we get out in the warm summer rays. And to make going home as least messy as possible, I strip them down and change them into fresh diaper/underwear (and sometimes pajamas depending on how late we stay at the rivers edge) before putting them in their carseats.

When conditions permit, we bring fire and dinner making supplies and stay until the kids (and us) are sleepy. Sometimes Steve will meet us after work to enjoy a cookout on the beach, and sometimes it's just me and the kids. Either way, it's always a fun day down at the river and I'm thankful to live five minutes away from such a fun and beautiful place!

destination: Knik River, Palmer, Alaska

driving directions: 40 minutes and about 38 miles from downtown Anchorage (see google map driving directions, here). Take the Glenn Highway north from Anchorage, take the Old Glenn Exit before Palmer/Wasilla Interchange, drive about 8.5 miles down the Old Glenn and take first left after crossing the Knik River. Drive down the beach until you find the perfect spot.

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