The hike-in on arrival at Arctic Hive is one of my favorite parts of welcoming any retreat group to our home. It’s similar to what I remember feeling when kids hopped off the bus on day 1 of summer camp.
Looking around at faces and feeling the energy of the group, there’s always a mix of emotions circulating— especially during the seasons where it might be raining, or extremely cold, or in the summer/fall before snowmachine access when they get to hike-in their own luggage.
(Pictured below are the teens who visited us this summer for a fundraising retreat with Riding On Insulin. They hiked in all their own gear — and IMO, did a pretty amazing job of packing light!)
There’s the inevitable restlessness from travel, layered with anticipation and excitement. I know this feeling well, myself.
You’ve spent months preparing for this adventure, trying to anticipate the experience with 2D reenactments via photos, videos, testing gear, and chatting with others who’ve been… but (and here’s the best part) upon arrival and seeing the Brooks Range in full-color 3D, you realize it’s for the best that all your expectations are getting unceremoniously tossed out the window.
The only way forward is into the unknown!
And, because you’ve done all the prep to get yourself this far, you’ve gently escorted your nervous system out of its comfort zone, into a challenge zone where you best learn and grow.
(Below, I'm hiking the winter trail with my mother-in-law, Mary Lou! She and Sean's father visited us this May, which really solidified their understanding of our life here in the Brooks Range.)
Sean and I make it our mission, as hosts, to help guests learn and grow throughout their stay.
No question is a dumb question — and no conversation topics are off limits. (Especially as we give everyone a tour and “lay of the land” on day 1!) If needed, we cover how to pee in the woods, how to brush your teeth without running water, how to conserve solar power in the cabins, and more.
Even guests that have camped all over the world seem to learn a little something new about the nuances of Arctic Hive.
(Below, on a hike with our March REWild Retreat.)
We value rest and relaxation time too; guests establish their own comfort zone in our cabins, dining spaces and yoga studio… and each day we venture out to experience new things — making all experiences customizable and optional depending how each individual is feeling. When one group wants to hike further, and another wants to head back, we split the difference and Sean goes with one crew, and I with the other — giving everyone just enough challenge for the day, without one group feeling overspent or unfulfilled.
The goal is to create (and hold) space where all needs are lovingly tended to, and guests stay clear of their personal “panic zone” — so they can challenge themselves in healthy ways while they learn new things about arctic ecology, the subsistence lifestyle and (optional!) yoga.
(Below, our April SHEWild Yoga Teacher Training crew — enjoying some freshies by the iconic Wiseman sign. This spot is a must-stop on every tour we take of the village with guests.)
Maybe you never thought you could have a “home” away from home in the Alaskan bush… but here at Arctic Hive, you’d probably surprise yourself — as all our guests do — and walk away a more confident version of yourself.
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