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How are traditions born?
If you listened to my Nov 24 outdoor diary, you heard about my plan to go with the family to a dry cabin in Denali State Park, just outside Denali National Park, and you heard that I feared that I made a grave mistake.
Here’s a little background. It was a sunny day in April or early May. Now, you might remember when we went and got a dry cabin on Byer Lake in Denali State Park and how much fun we had. It was there as I sat on the porch like a cat in the warm late spring sun that I thought you know what would be amazing around Thanksgiving? Spending the weekend at a cabin just like this. Amazing.
But the thing is that while I was sitting there in the warm sun, I temporarily forgot that sometimes the warm sun is not out — like in late November — and therefore I might not like going to a cabin in the middle of nowhere with family.
That was my concern last week — that heading to a cabin with no electricity or running water when there’s maybe 8 hours of daylight and spending Thanksgiving there might not be that fun.
But then there was the possibility that I was just doing the thing I always do, which is think that everything is going to be terrible and dwell on the worst case scenario, only to have it be fabulous.
So, what do you think happened?
Yes, OK, it was great! We had a fantastic time.
On Thursday morning we packed up our Thanksgiving feast of two pies, a stuffed turkey breast from Costco, Luke’s family recipe jello salad known as “Pink Stuff,” instant mashed potatoes, pre-made gravy ready to be reheated, a box of stuffing and more snacks than you can even imagine and loaded up the car.
Now, I need you to imagine how stuffed our car was. We drive a Subaru Outback with five seatbelts. In it we put four people and two dogs. At the kids’ feet was wood. In the rocket box — all wood. In the back of the stacked on top of everything? Wood. Balance above the kids and one dog was a giant sled for hauling our stuff to the cabin. And in the back was clothes — we werent staying long but it’s cold and layers take up a ton of space — bedding and all the food in the land. We also packed in some board games and, of course, snowshoes for getting to the cabin and around the area.
And we hauled it all to the cabin, and had a great time. We feasted on the food, snowshoed all around, played a ton of games with each other, looked at the mountains, I read an entire book, the boys played in the snow and it was completely and perfectly fantastic.
It was a completely great Thanksgiving. In the past in Alaska our Thanksgivings have also been wonderful — with friends who are like family, tucked in our homes and followed by an outdoor adventure and some holiday shopping. But despite my totally unfounded fears, we had a great time when we tried something new for the holiday. And it seems like something we should do again.
And isn’t that how traditions are born? By doing something new on purpose or sometimes by accident that you can then repeat again later, while being OK with it not being exactly the same.
As for this week’s outdoor hero, we’re going to keep the focus on the Humans Outside 2020 Holiday Gift Guide, which there’s still time to check out. Thanks to everyone who entered our giveaways — and congrats to the winners, all of whom were notified by email.
And of course that’s not our only cabin trip planned for this season. We’ll be heading to a different cabin for a weekend just before Christmas and yet another one for two nights in February. I’ve also planned my own little retreat at a less rustic but still scenic spot next weekend. I need some time to think and plan out what Ill have for you on Season 3 of the Humans Outside podcast starting in January.
This week will be our last regular episode until Season 3 starts in January. I’ll be keeping up the weekly outdoor diary until then.
Of course, if you want to see some photos of our Thanksgiving adventure and stay up with what I do every day for my 20 minutes outside, you can check out Humans Outside on Facebook or Instagram. And I want to see your outdoor time, too, so tag it with #HumansOutside365.
Until next time, I’ll see you out there.