A quick update from student Jess: We just finished our last backpack of AK 2 and it was a good one! I think it was my favorite of all the backpacks. For the past four days I have been enjoying the backcountry of Denali State Park with Thayne, Simon, Alex, Isa, Paula, Olive, Sarah, CJ, Evan, and Colin. IT ONLY RAINED ONE FULL DAY. If you have been hearing about the weather you will understand how exciting this is. This was the first backpack where students were aloud to be the leaders. Usually it was Evan and CJ because they are both very fast hikers. We had an amazing trail and even better views. Our group was also given the honor of carrying the adventure treks flag. Thayne carried it and throughout the whole trip it waved from the pole sticking out of his backpack. It was surprisingly motivating, I’m not sure why. The campsites were also all amazing and had great views. From one of them we even got a view of Denali. Oh wow, that mountain is huge! We all stared at it in awe for a long time. This trip was full of hysterical laughter, great moments and even better people. I am so happy to be able to finish out the trip with this amazing group of people. I’m also happy to say that we finally got to see a bear. Before you freak out, the bear was a solid mile away. Tim passed around his handy dandy binoculars and we all got a good view. Simon is the one who spotted it. Don’t ask me how because I have absolutely know idea how. In total, this backpack was great in every way and I’m very upset to say that it’s over. Saying goodbye is truly the hardest part of the trip. I think I speak for everyone when I say this month we spent in Alaska was one of the best in our lives. I also want to thank all of you for sending your children on this trip. Without your child this community wouldn’t be whole. I wouldn’t want to spend a month with any other smelly teenagers than these.
A quick update from student Liz: The Denali backpack was considered by many the best backpack of all. There were amazing views and amazing people with us on top of the ridge. The first day, we cruised and made it to camp by 3:30 PM, even though we had to consistently hike uphill for the entire day. The next day, we slowly moseyed out of camp and later found a sweet spot to stop for lunch at a lake with an outhouse. Both lovely aspects of the spot were enjoyed… especially since the sun had come out. Afterwards, a tough uphill was in our future but we powered through. Day three of the Denali backpack included small hills and a chill vibe until we got into an awe-inspiring camp with incredible views. The last day we woke up and had a short hike out, straight down. Overall it was a beautiful, amazing, fantastic backpack.