The day begins bright and early at 5am. I get dressed in my cozy 8×8 room which is decorated with various hooks and shelves and a small space heater. It’s small but comfortable. The exact peace and quiet I had my heart set on when I imagined life in Alaska. As I step out of my cabin, I’m greeted by a long, gravel runway (Common in Alaska), dense forest, and nearby mountains in all directions.
Daily activities include loading buses for tours and picking up passengers or luggage and taking them to and from the train station or various hotels in the adjoining town outside of the park entrance. I attend to other odd jobs here and there as well. Fueling vehicles, helping customers, and general cleaning duties are all part of my day. So far it is a very relaxed atmosphere.
When I’m not working, I spend my time talking with my new co-workers and swapping life stories. Everyone here has such diverse backgrounds and travel experiences. It’s awesome! I like to spend my evenings having a drink at the bar onsite and meeting people from all over the world. When I feel like relaxing and having time to myself, I read in my room, listen to music or go for a run. There are a few trails and a highway where I can get some exercise and take in the view while I say to myself, “I can’t believe I’m here right now.”
The food is great, the people are friendly and the scenery is breathtaking. Every day is a learning experience. Last night we had a bonfire from 9PM till around 2AM and I marveled at how the sun dipped behind the horizon but not far enough to turn night. The sky turned to a spectacular array of oranges and reds at sunset, and just when you think night is upon you, the sun goes “Just kidding!!”, and back up it goes! Too cool.
The wildlife spotting has yet to disappoint. The moose amble across the road…
and the squirrels think they own the place.
As an employee I’m privileged enough to book some Denali tours for free. One of the many perks of life in the seasonal tourism industry. Once I establish a set work schedule, I plan on doing a few tours to see some Grizzly bears and glaciers.