An outdoor life with … a sea kayaker |

An outdoor life with … a sea kayaker

Photo Courtesy Neil KesslerEmelie Putnam sea kayaks in southeast Alaska in the summer of 2004. She was near LeConte glacier with a group of students on a Wild Rockies Field Institute five-week trip.

Name: Emelie Putnam

Age: 24

Residence: Glenwood Springs

Occupation: Sales

Favorite outdoor activity: Sea kayaking

For how many years have you sea kayaked? Four years. My first trip was in 2004.

Top three places you’ve kayaked: Southeast Alaska and Massachusetts are my two favorite spots.

What are your kayaking essentials? Essentials for an extended trip are a good set of rain clothes (rain jacket, knee-high boots and full bibs) and good tent with a good rain fly. Extra socks are key, too, as there’s nothing worse than soggy feet.

Favorite outdoor activity besides, sea kayaking? Hiking and camping.

Favorite place for hiking or camping in Garfield County? Any trail I can take my dogs. The less traveled, the better.

Most memorable experience while kayaking? Paddling along in Alaska and thinking I saw land, until what I thought was land got closer and took off into the sky in a thousand little pieces. It was a floating raft of birds. Another time, a huge sea lion came right up to my kayak. If he wanted to, all he had to do was give me a little bump and he could have had me for lunch.

Worst experience while kayaking? Paddling while very sick, knowing I had to make it 23 miles by the end of the day.

When was the first time you kayaked, who where you with and where did you go? Summer 2004. I went with a group from Wild Rockies Field Institute on a five week trip to southeastern Alaska. It was the most amazing experience ever. I saw grizzly bears, tons of bald eagles and a glacier calving. (Glacier calving: When large sections of glaciers break off into the sea.)

What would be the best kayak trip ever? I’d love to paddle the inside passage from Seattle to Skagway, Alaska. Or the Northern coast of Alaska around Prudhoe Bay and Barrow.

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