Springtime in Alaska brought me some unique childhood adventures!

During this time of the year, my memories go back to my childhood in a remote and beautiful wilderness area beside the largest inland body of water in Alaska: Lake Iliamna.

When we weren’t driving our dog sled (pictured here), our family had an old Jeep that we used to drive around our village and over the high mountains between Pile Bay and Cook Inlet on the Gulf of Alaska. Sometimes in deep winter when the ice was strong, we would drive across the icy surface of the lake to check our trap lines or to go ice fishing.

One spring, there was an early warm spell after an especially cold winter. The lake ice was still very thick, but there was a layer of water on top, and then after a cool night, another thin layer of ice on top of that water. My dad was feeling adventurous, so to have some excitement, he took my younger sister and me along with a couple other young guys, and we spun “brodies” out on the lake!

We were having great fun until after one spinning session, the Jeep’s wheels caught on the top layer of thin ice, causing the vehicle to tip over! Luckily, no one was injured, just a bit shaken up and wet. We were able to tip the Jeep back up on its wheels with everyone’s help and drive back home. Naturally, my little sister was frightened and upset, but I was hungry for more thrills so I begged, “Let’s do that again, Daddy!”

Another springtime memory is of floating around on big ice floes when the lake ice would finally break up. My sister and I had fun poling around the shore on small bergs that had broken off the ice mass as though we were riding on little rafts. I shudder to think of what could have happened had we fallen off and into the icy cold water, but by the grace of God, we survived that and many other Springtime adventures in Alaska!

What about you? What memories of Springtime or childhood adventures do you have? Please share them with us in the comments.


An Alaska Native transplanted to Big Sky Country where she’s joyfully serving the Lord until she takes her “Heavenly flight”

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2 Responses to Springtime in Alaska

  1. Wow, Mama, I had forgotten about this story! So glad that you all survived your many Alaska adventures, or I might not have been born!

  2. Darla Seifert Baliko says:

    Karen, what a great picture! And what great (and risky!) adventures! I’d love to hear more tales from the tundra. I do hope you post more here.

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