Ground Truth Trekking in the Media

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News stories and interviews

Small Feet, Big Land

Heart of Alaska Expedition

Erin McKittrick’s Essays in the Alaska Dispatch News

Following Alaska’s vanishing ice

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

Welcome to Umnak, a land of cows that assaults the senses

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

On 900-mile trip, Trusty Tusty is both cruise ship and Greyhound bus

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

Traditional Knowledge and 150 Miles of Alaskan Tundra and Ice

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

In Chickaloon coal debate, does what’s best for locals even matter?

In any economy, some people can work for their neighbors – fixing their roads, teaching their kids, selling them gas. But to bring anything in from outside, you need to have something that outsiders need.

October 25, 2014

When we talk, we talk about the weather

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

Touring Kachemak Bay State Park with packrafts and children in tow

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

The Alaska outhouse: A room with a view

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

Where biking to work, play is the only option on the shores of Kachemak Bay

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: Finding the state’s beauty during ‘the ugly season’

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

Stopping to consider Alaska’s import-export ebb and flow

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