by Tyler Goodwin
Most people growing up in Alaska have great stories with their parents from their childhood that greatly influenced how they interact with the outdoors nowadays. I am no different. My father was a park ranger in the Alaska State parks for the majority of my life and as a family we went on countless adventures. The earliest and most impactful experience in the outdoors that I can remember is floating the Sheenjek River in our family raft with my dad on the oars. We saw a wolverine at the top of a tree and dealt with the biggest mosquitoes known to planet earth. We were on the river for what seemed like weeks which was challenging for me, being so young, but I took away a lot from it. I learned that no matter what adversity one encounters, one can overcome almost any challenges in the outdoors. From that trip my confidence being outside made a significant leap which has followed me on every trip I’ve done. The fact that my dad never coddled me as a child and threw me head first into every trip was a great way to grow up in Alaska and develop my skills in the outdoors.
My father was also a huge influence in introducing me to skiing. The first memory I have is from when I could barely walk; we went on a family trip to Thompson Pass in Alaska. I was put on skis while we were watching the snowboarders roaring past. Skiing has developed into one of my greatest passions as an adult and some of the greatest times in my life have been skiing at Alyeska as well as several trips we made to Lake Tahoe and the Alta Ski Area in Utah, all with my dad. Without my father’s positive influence on me in the outdoors I wouldn’t have had all of the fantastic trip experiences I did and wouldn’t be the person I am today.
Love you Dad