After the first HiB30 Challenge in November of 2014, Sarah and Thomas Box decided that 30 miles in 30 days was a great way to motivate themselves to get out everyday and enjoy nature during the coming Alaskan winter. They decided that 100 miles in 100 days would be a great bridge until the next challenge! Here is their story:
My name is Sarah Box and my husband is Thomas. We have a son, Manning, who was about 1yr old when we were doing our 100 mile challenge. Thomas created the extended challenge for us. I was pretty disappointed with my lack of miles I achieved in the November challenge. I work a lot of long days so it left very little time to get outside. I knew if I DIDN’T work I would have been able to do SOOOO much more!
Even before we became parents we loved getting outdoors. We lived in TN for a while and part of the Appalachian Trail was literally at the end of our driveway! One of the first ‘dates’ Thomas and I went on was to hike to the glacier in Juneau to go ice climbing. I didn’t even let terrible Braxton hicks contractions stop me from hiking during pregnancy, though we had to take it REALLLLLY slow at times.
For our winter in Alaska 100 mile challenge we chose a mix of old favorites and new trails. We bought ice grippers for our boots and that really opened everything up for us. Really nothing was un-doable even in really slick conditions. It’s winter in Alaska. What must-have items did we have in our pack? Ice grippers were essential, as were snacks and water. Warm hats and gloves all round and the little guy VERY bundled up! We always carried a change of clothes for him too in case he got wet for some reason. We also carried a battery backup for our cell phones in case something happened and we became stranded.
We did two pretty long hikes in different states! Both were over 8 miles. Just after Christmas we hiked near my husband’s college campus in MS, and then in mid-January we hiked ON Eklutna lake in about 15F weather!
The most unique hike we did as part of our challenge was ON Eklutna Lake! The lake was frozen and we hiked over 8 miles! It was freezing; about 15F, but there wasn’t a breath of wind and we were all bundled up. Some ice skaters had been by and they carved some really cool patterns in the ice. Someone drew an elephant with a hiking pole! Thomas drew a shark. We were VERY glad to get back to the car!
We already knew we could push ourselves, but it was a great feeling when we finished our miles and had actually succeeded! We definitely felt stronger as a family as well, it was great to spend so much time together outdoors. I won’t lie, it was hard at times! Neither of us are quitters though and we just kept nibbling away at it. Every mile counted and sometimes that’s all we did if the weather was really bad.
I believe being outside is good for the soul. It also forces you to stop being distracted by other things and spend some quality time together. Regardless of the weather there is always something you can do outside! Well, maybe not in a blizzard or tornado!