Whether it’s the long, cold, dark winters, high-latitude ingenuity or perhaps a few too many ions slipping through the aurora borealis-filled atmosphere, parents up in Alaska are a bit more creative — and perhaps, whacky — than most. And they have to be, what with three seasons: winter, June, July and August. Case in point: This home-built hot tub for toddlers some reveling rafters made on the three-day kid river trip down the Chulitna River in the Alaska Range…
“It was our daughter, Lily’s, first-ever camping trip,” says proud and pruned=from-soaking mom Laurie Silfven. “She liked the bouncy water of the rafting and sleeping in the tent, but she especially liked the camping hot tub.”
The technique for building this toddler sanctuary is simple: After purchasing a small, inflatable swimming pool and using a small battery-powered pump to fill the tub, the rafting sourdoughs circulated water with the pump through copper tubing placed in the fire, which then fed right back to the hot tub. Voila! A hot tub on the banks of the Chulitna, with Denali in the background.
Throw in a little riverside bluegrass, a keg of homebrew and the midnight sun, and that’s a river recipe for everyone from rugrats to parents.
“Our little gal was tired, but didn’t want to go to bed without first getting in “her” hot tub,” says Silfven.
Adds proud pop, Nino: “It was pretty nice watching the sun “set” over the Alaska range at 1 AM while sitting in a hot tub with a keg of IPA sitting next to you. I think I like rafting.”