Active Travels: Austin-Lehman Family Adventures
By Steve Jermanok
As an adventure travel writer, I’ve been paid to bike around the Big Island of Hawaii, sea kayak the Fijian islands, dive the Great Barrier Reef, and paddle the Allagash River during a memorable foliage. Then I had my first child and the canoes, skies, and other outdoor paraphernalia started to collect dust in the basement of my suburban Boston home. Going stir crazy one summer day, I called my dad who gave me the sage advice to integrate family into my work. The next thing I know I’m going up and down the hills of Vermont with my toddler on the back of my bike. Like many parents, I began to realize that I don’t have to give up my passion simply because I have little ones. It was time to introduce my kids to the real me. Now I travel with Jake, 14, and Melanie, 12, as much as possible without getting scolded by their teachers. And they’re the ones teaching me a thing or two about every sport they try.
This coming summer, we’re already booked on a six-day multisport trip with Austin-Lehman Adventures in the Canadian Rockies. ALA is known for their guided family trips to the most stunning locales across the globe, from Costa Rica to Alaska, Africa, and yes, the Canadian Rockies. In the Banff, Jasper, and Lake Louise region, we’ll trek with crampons across the Athabasca Glacier, whitewater raft down the Kananaskis River, and bike through the tall cedars and pines on the Evans Thomas path. Another highlight is the 64-mile drive through the peaks and deep swaths of forest on Icefields Parkway. Elk, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, maybe even a bear or cougar can be seen as you make your way to the largest ice cap in the Canadian Rockies, the Columbia Icefield, on the boundary of Banff and Jasper National Parks. At night, we’ll be staying at Baker Creek Chalets, along a quiet stream smack dab in the center of the snowcapped summits.
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