Caines Head: Seward, Alaska

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With the baby still under a year, we earmarked this summer as a backpacking summer.  Our other kids are old enough (4, 6, and 8) to carry their sleeping bags, pads, clothes, snacks and water bottles, while the baby man can be front carried, leaving both mine and  my husband’s backs open for all the other gear.

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Filtering water along the way because we got trapped.  See below*

This is a good trail to walk with kids because it is predominantly beach walking.  Most of the rocks are flat, skipping rock caliber.  In fact, when I did this originally with my brother, pre-kids, he found a beach along the way, sat down and declared, “If there’s a heaven, this had better be what it looks like.”

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*The first three miles from Tonsina Point have a few sections that can leave you stranded when high tide creeps in, so you must backpack it at low tide.  This is the other reason this walk is brilliant for kids.  The threat of the ocean coming in soon keeps them going!  Am I terrible?  Guilty.

Were we negligent about tide watching?  Also guilty.  We wrongly assumed we had passed the sections the tide made the trail impassable so we were stuck eating dinner near one of the first rentable cabins.  Luckily we found a water source!

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North Beach (camping location) is an old World War II site, so some of the remaining piers are still lingering.

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Always treasures on a beach!

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Fire pits are wonderful chores to set kids on upon arriving.

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We also have them gather downed wood for us.

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Hiking the next day sans packs was amazing.  The kids felt so light!

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We headed up to Fort McGilvray, an abandoned WWII defensive fortification.  This attraction was the main reason we chose this backpacking trek (see, there.  It wasn’t all negative manipulation, there was a positive incentive too!)

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The kids quickly set up a headquarters and proceeded to play an hour plus of sardines, headlamps attached.  We ate lunch and just enjoyed the spectacular views.  It is understandable why this spot was chosen; any incoming enemy watercraft would have been sitting ducks.

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Supper never tasted so good.

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Lightweight kites and hammocks are a must (well, not really a must, but thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed).

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There is always the ‘chicken’ game with the waves too.

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Three days was fine, I’m not sure we could have managed four days worth of food, but there are two more day hikes from North Beach I’d like to try sometime.

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We may have to wait until the kids can help us carry more.

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Is there anything better in the world than taking off your hiking shoes after 5 miles and finding leftover banana bread in the car?

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Name it.

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