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Ketchikan, Alaska

HELLO FROM OUT THE ROAD: A Little about your guide

Photo courtesy of Steve Kamm

Photo courtesy of Steve Kamm

Hello, I’m Teague Whalen, a local Ketchikan, Alaska resident who is here to guide you on a hike through the rain forest down to the secluded Coast Guard Beach. As a grad-school graduate with a newly minted M.F.A. in creative writing, I moved from Marquette, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula to Ketchikan, Alaska in the summer of 2009 in order to teach English and communication at the University of Alaska Southeast’s Ketchikan campus as a tenure-track assistant professor.

I first experienced Ketchikan in the late 90s when I visited my younger sister who had moved out here, and I immediately jumped on the opportunity to hike the trails. There’s nothing more exciting than discovering a new trail, a new place. I grew up with two younger sisters and parents who were both teachers, so this meant we had the summers off to travel. We caravanned all over the United States with other families and bicycled toured, canoe camped, and backpacked into the wilderness. I’ve hiked the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee multiple times and many of the trails around the Great Lakes in Michigan and Canada—Pictured Rocks, Porcupine Mountains, the Bruce Trail, the North Country Pathway, Lake Superior Coastal Trail, and Agawa Canyon to name a few. I’ve also guided Northern Michigan University students on hikes as an English instructor in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as well as University of Michigan students in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and upstate Maine as part of the New England Literature Program. And now I’ve started a summer-season hiking tour here in Ketchikan: Mindfulness Rainforest Treks, LLC, which hikes only the Coast Guard Beach trail. So, if there is one thing I know about, it’s hiking and how to do it safely.

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