I never thought I'd set foot in a packraft. Frankly, I hadn't even heard the term "packraft" until I moved to Alaska. And even then, I thought it was fantasy land - an adventure you only read about in books. At this month's Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekend event, I learned exactly what it means to packraft - and I had the time of my time.
Packrafts are small, portable, and inflatable boats, designed to be light enough to be carried long distances. Along with eight other adventurous souls, we explored the edges of Echo Cove and the boundaries of Berner's Bay, a pristine location about 40 miles north of Juneau.
Starting out, we hiked for about half an hour across the warm Cowee meadows with our packrafts and paddles in tow. It was a pleasant hike, but we quickly found ourselves shedding layers with the unseasonably warm climate. It was 72 degrees and brought back memories of Alabama humidity. Before too long, we found a nice rocky beach, a perfect spot to put our pack rafts in to the chilled waters of the Cowee Creek.
Floating down the waterway, we practiced our ferrying technique, learned more about reading water, and worked to steer clear of boulders as we negotiated the creek. I had a blast with the group as we learned new skills together in a beautiful and breathtaking environment.
The whole packrafting experience was something I'm anxious to experience again soon. Next adventure on the water? Maybe I'll try my hand at fishing or crabbing from a packraft! Stranger things have happened, so stay tuned!