Growing up in Palmer I can easily remember when parties were thrown around makeshift campfires in the exact spot that the Knik River Lodge now stands. I remember the trips out to Jim Creek and spending hot summer days playing in the river and exploring the braided banks. Local tales of wild adventures would spill out over s’mores as we camped out under the midnight sun.
Today, when you make the turn onto Knik River Road and follow along the banks of this mighty glacial waterway, snaking its way deep into the mountainous valley, it is easy to see how wild this space of Alaska still is. Overlooking the river valley and scouring the far banks for meandering wildlife, one wonders how long it would take to hike down to the river and what treasures might lay hidden in the sandbars. It can be a challenge to find wild spaces in the world today, and sometimes it can be just as difficult to take the time to experience them.
Often when we do take the time to travel, it is easy to quickly overload an itinerary to try to see and do as much as possible. Suddenly, there is a need for a vacation after a vacation, simply to recover from the vacation. I know this from recently planning my own vacation to explore the Oregon coast. I quickly had an overly enthusiastic itinerary to try and see the entire region, every brewery, each park, all the cute restaurants and of course get in a cheese tour – all in 4 days. That is not a vacation; that is a marathon.
Alaska is too big to see in one lifetime, even for a resident, let alone during a one-week vacation. But there are wild pieces that can be explored from different angles – riding in a helicopter, standing on a glacier, and of course vista gazing from a big wide deck with a fresh Alaska grown meal. At Knik River Lodge we hope guests have a chance to relax and make their own adventures from one location.
In planning my own vacation, I came to better appreciate the planning put in by our guests to try and balance the Alaska sized travel distances with truly having a vacation. Each summer we have the opportunity to share the lodge with guests, but it is not just the cabins and buildings, but rather a chance to share our wild space.