Alaskan Adventures

June 14, 2010 at 7:21 pm Leave a comment

Wow, what an experience Alaska turned out to be! This was totally uncharacteristic for me. I was always a very quiet, non-risk kind of person. My family and friends were the most important thing to me but venturing out to the unknown was not in my make-up. I got on a plane and headed out to Fairbanks. When I got off the plane I was bussed to Denali Park to a huge lodge. The company hired about 300 people for the summer season. The employees lived in a hotel about 10 miles from the lodge. I knew I was in Alaska from my very first day, when I saw a grizzly bear walking right by the hotel.

Grizzly by our hotel

I hired on as a housekeeping supervisor. This was a position I had never experienced before, but I did know what a clean hotel room should look like, so I just faked it. I guess it turned out okay because I received “employee of the month” and had a great time.

Besides working at something totally different than what I had done in the past, I met some really wonderful new friends and traveled all over the area. I found out that I was not the only middle aged woman looking for something ‘else’ in her life. We gathered every night at the “round table” in the cafeteria and learned about each other, took off on road trips on our days off, took tours of the park and saw bear, moose, dall sheep, and caribou, and made great new friendships. I still keep in touch with several of the ladies I met that first summer.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from that special time:

A B&B we passed by on one of our outings.

Mt McKinley in Denali Park

Me with one of Jeff King's (an Iditorod racer) puppies

Mama & baby moose that wandered into the lodge one morning

Group of us ladies on tour bus in Denali Park.

I ended up working at the same lodge for three years, moving from housekeeping to Food & Beverage. Each year I met lots of young people from all over the world, mostly from Eastern Europe coming up to this last frontier to work and earn money for their education. What great work ethics these young people had. It was quite an inspiration! At the end of the seasons the Northern Lights came out and gave us a beautiful show.

Northern Lights over the lodge

It was definitely an experience of a lifetime and started me on this new path in life.

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