The Call of the Wild

Anna asks what brought me to Alaska. Actually, she asks if I’ve written about that somewhere, but it’s my blog, and I’m taking liberties.

The short answer is: A whim.

At the beginning of 1990, I had decided not to return to Ramapo-Anchorage Camp in Rhinebeck, NY, and was looking for a new adventure. A friend suggested we look for jobs in Alaska. I knew Alaska was a state, but that was pretty much it. She was thinking cannery work (ew), but I set my sights on something less slimy and smelly.

While perusing an Outside magazine one evening, I saw an ad for Alaska Wildland Adventures, a tour company offering what I concluded were soft adventure trips. It was an ad for their trips, not available positions, but I figured a company that offered trips needed staff, so I called. The woman I spoke with, Julie, was bubbly and kind, and both she and the jobs she described reminded me of summer camp.


So I came to Alaska to work as an assistant natural history guide for Alaska Wildland Adventures. Okay, maybe I exaggerated my knowledge of Alaska at the time. I was a quick study.

I fell in love with the wildlife, the wide open spaces, and the outdoor lifestyle.

That summer, I was awed by stories from a couple who’d spent the winter caretaking a remote lodge. I asked endless questions; I wanted to do that. And I met Mike. He wanted to do that, too.

Here we are 19 years later, caretaking for Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge, the new lodge being built by Alaska Wildland Adventures.

In hindsight, I think we can say with certainty that my life altered course the day I came to Alaska.

Categories: Alaska

1 reply »

  1. Cool! The people I met in Alaska seemed to have a sort of random response to how they ended up there. All the stories are very diverse and interesting. But it seems like everyone falls in love with the same things…and stays.