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July 27, 2017

Family of Explorers

Ground Truth Trekkers Erin and Hig walking with son Katmai and daughter Lituya getting a ride

Ground Truth Trekkers Hig and Erin walking with son Katmai — daughter Lituya is getting a ride

When a mutual friend notified me yesterday that Alaska adventurers Bretwood “Hig” Higman and Erin McKittrick might be looking for some transportation while visiting Anchorage, I jumped at the opportunity to meet them.

Erin and Hig, as they are known, are the founders of the organization Ground Truth Trekking which provides a unique education on Alaska’s resource issues through hands-on exploration. Erin and Hig, along with the other organization members, combine their travels with exhaustive research, offering comprehensive, science-based coverage of issues like mining, climate change, Alaska fisheries management, energy options, etc…They frequently debunk myths on both sides of the various arguments.

However, it’s their ambitious journeys and uniquely simple lifestyle that seems to get most of the attention.

Erin’s book, “A Long Trek Home,” documents their 4000-mile journey in 2007-2008 from Puget Sound to the Bering Sea — also documented in the movie ‘Journey On the Wild Coast.” The couple has continued their journeys which now include two toddler children (son Katmai and daughter Lituya). (A list an description of each journey can be found on their website.) When not hiking the wilds of Alaska, they live in a yurt on a stretch of land in Seldovia, along with both of their mothers in their own yurts on the same homestead. Their more recent journeys and family life will be chronicled in Erin’s new book coming out later this year.

This trip to Anchorage is not a “come-and-stock-up-in-the-big-city” visit from rural Alaska. Erin, Hig and the kids are walking the Cook Inlet area…”Tracing the Heart of Alaska.” From March through July, they will be traveling around the Inlet area and asking residents about Alaska’s future. Erin explains in this little video I took with my IPad Mini at Middle Way Cafe. (Includes gratuitous child cuteness.)

You can follow their progress on Facebook and on the Ground Truth Trekking Blog. Feel free to leave them a message at either spot and tell them your thoughts on the future of Alaska.

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4 Responses to “Family of Explorers”
  1. beth. says:

    [[LKB – your voice is truly lovely!]]

    Interesting folks … and ambitious! Thanks for introducing them to me, Linda. beth.

  2. Brian slover says:

    First time I met hig was when he gave a presentation to the community of seldovia regarding the fault zones around pebble…good to see them bringing attention to the right question before us so……now want do we want

  3. Alaska Pi says:

    Thank you LKB!
    I knew they were planning this trek but haven’t been paying enough attention (obviously!) to realize they were well on their way.
    Congratulations, go well and go safe, Erin and Hig and kids!

    (there are some of us out here who chafe at the heart-of-Alaska dealie for Cook Inlet, but it certainly IS where the bulk of people and their activities is/are and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.)

  4. aussiebluesky says:

    I love Erin and Hig; I can remember back when they had no children – I didn’t think they could continue to do what they do with the added degree of difficulty of one small child, much less two. They have proved me wrong every time. They’re simply amazing people – with amazing children.

    Long may they trek!

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