About Sarah Yeomans
When I was a kid, my favorite toys were sticks, string, and sand. My grandpa built me a covered sandbox about the size of a 5 foot square, and yet every summer my hair was bleached platinum and my skin was incredibly tan. My best friend was the farmer’s dog, and we often spent hours playing in my backyard.
I got lost in a strawberry patch (what can I say, I was 3), uncomfortably high in many trees (going up is a lot more thrilling than coming down), and discovered maggots in the acorns I brought inside as food for my stuffed animals.
Now, I get lost on hiking trails since I have no sense of compass (I would be at a complete loss without Spencer). I climb sheer rock walls where coming down is almost as fun as going up. And I don’t bring acorns inside the house. My greatest foes are still bugs, though I’ve learned to tolerate the mosquitoes despite their swarming me at the local crag.
When I’m not outside adventuring, you may find me enjoying a good book, contemplating deep thoughts, or simply finding solace in the serenity that naturescapes provide. Nature has calmed me in ways that being inside never could, and now I often choose to seek solitude on my balcony to collect my thoughts. And if I spend too much time cooped up inside, you can expect me to be restless, itching to move, and eager to enjoy a bike ride or walk.
I’ve enjoyed dipping my toes into lots of new adventures over the years. Among being introduced to sports like cross country skiing, rock climbing, and intensive (aka hilly and mountainous) hiking, the land of 10,000 lakes is also where I met Spencer.
I would argue the journey of getting to know him has been one of my biggest adventures to date.
We met in college, where our first impressions of each other were mediocre at best, and somewhere along the way became best friends. Now we’re each other’s best adventure buddies– from alpine hiking, to sea kayaking, to zip lining in multiple states–and I’m holding him to his promise to show me the world.
So far we’re doing pretty good. We went on a trip to Colorado and Utah for some amazing trails, and while there I had some of my first experiences with climbing outside. We tried bouldering near our homestay in Durango, granite rock climbing in Lemon Reservoir about an hour away, and sandstone climbing near Moab, Utah. I’d say I’m well on my way to being a climbing-junkie, though I still have a long way to go.
In 2022, our adventures expanded from stateside to the non-continental US. The last frontier: Alaska.
To be precise, our adventures took us to an alpine lake in Sitka where we said ‘I do’ under a misty and moody mountainscape.
It was a dream to be there, and I’m grateful for the few friends and family that came with us for the experience (eagle mishaps and all… But that’s a story for another day). We spent almost a week with everyone together in one house, and frequent jaunts to the hiking trail kept most of us sane during those clustered days. We explored a lot of different trails, went sea kayaking with some friends, and enjoyed the brief period of small town life together.
I left a piece of my heart in Alaska. But despite our time there inevitably coming to its sorrowful end, I know I’ll be back there again someday.
After leaving Alaska, Spencer and I made a weekend pit stop to Montana (and a brief excursion to Canada), and later in the summer briefly escaped to Wisconsin before wrapping up the year with a road trip to Maine.
Needless to say, I feel as though I’ve been around the block a time or two now. And there are definitely some places that stick in my memory more than others. Here are my top picks for enthralling adventures:
Alaska: Sea Kayaking in Seward
Alaska is undoubtedly my favorite state that I’ve explored so far, and I want to go back because I know I’ve seen so little of what it has to offer. From hiking, to climbing, to sea kayaking – it was honestly a bit of a struggle to decide my most recommended adventure here.
But sea kayaking in Seward ultimately came out on top. Why?
The uniqueness of the experience is what struck me. Because there’s nothing like gliding through the sea-green water and experiencing the cold ocean spray. I love the feeling of my muscles burning, fighting the current of the waves, knowing that my body is working hard, and really plunging into the picturesque scenery around me. I regret not taking my phone with me to capture photographic evidence of the experience, but I didn’t want to drop it into the water…alas.
The guides we had out with us on our tour were wonderful. They were locals of the area, and it showed through their sharing the history of Seward as well as their expert maneuvering through the choppy waters of the seacoast. We mostly stayed along the edges of the water, following the curvature of the land, and there were times we paused to experience some Alaskan wildlife. I would do it again even though my hands were near frozen by the end of our tour.
In spite of sea kayaking being my top choice of Alaskan experiences, there are so many amazing hiking trails that deserve a mention as well. Bird Ridge Trail in Anchorage (which you can find along Seward Highway), Herring Cove Trail and Gavin Hill Trail in Sitka, and Marmot Mountain at Hatcher’s Pass. Hatcher’s Pass was a recommendation we received from some locals while ziplining, so take note of the not-so-commonly found hiking trove.
Maine: Precipice Trail at Acadia National Park
When looking for exciting and beautiful places to visit in your lifetime, Acadia National Park usually makes it on any recommended list, and for good reason. Acadia has such beautiful scenery, and is located on a mountainous island in Maine.
If you want casual beachside walks, Acadia can do that. Lunch in a quaint tourist town? Acadia can do that too. And most of all, Acadia has a slew of stunning hiking trails to pick from. After galivanting through the park, the Precipice Trail was by far my favorite activity there. The views were stunning, the incline was exhilarating, and scrambling up and over the rocks was refreshing to the simple uphill walk that I’m used to. It felt more like a cross between light bouldering and hiking than your typical mountain hike. I like that.
Aside from the hiking trails we explored, Acadia also had some amazing ocean views and beachy vibes to speak of. I honestly don’t remember the names of these locations at Acadia (or if they even had them) but if you like exploring they shouldn’t be too hard to find. There’s a popular section of rocks where you can experience some pretty intense ocean spray (make sure not to get too close like Spencer and I did). There’s also a pretty relaxing beach area that would be great for a sandy and serene picnic area with family or friends.
Colorado: Climbing at Lemon Reservoir
Climbing is one of my favorite things to do, especially exploring new locations on trips. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out to do it, whether that’s needing gear you don’t have room to pack for a flight, or the weather on the trip just isn’t conducive to the sport (climbing on wet rock, anyone?). But fortunately for my most recent trip to Utah and Colorado, the weather was great while I was there.
Climbing is a completely different experience depending on where you are and what type of rock you’re climbing on. The granite walls in Colorado are not the same as climbing on the sandstone slabs in Utah. I like both–and it was really fun to challenge myself to try slabbing in Utah–but I really enjoyed the solidity of, and cracks in the rock walls at Lemon Reservoir in Colorado. Not to mention, Lemon Reservoir boasts some fantastic views and incredibly tall walls.
Crack climbing up the rockface is such a satisfying challenge for me. The holds also felt a lot more solid, where I didn’t feel the need to worry about the rock giving way under my grip. Sandstone can be scary in that way (but that’s also part of the rush). I also enjoyed the ability to top out a few different routes at Lemon Reservoir, which I haven’t had the opportunity to do too much of.
Other Adventures to Try:
While I shared a few of my favorite activities I’ve done on my recent vacations, there are so many more exciting things that didn’t quite make my Top 3. So, in respect to making sure you’re never short on ideas, here’s a handful more must try adventures to do in your lifetime:
- Slab climbing in Utah
- Exploring the hiking trails at Canyonlands in Utah
- Visiting Denali National Park in Alaska
- Stopping by Hot Springs in Alaska
- Ziplining in Matanuska, Alaska
- Bouldering in Durango, Colorado
- Conquering a 14er mountain hike in Colorado
- Hiking the Rocky Mountain Trail