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Denali bound for the Summer '10 with several questions I hope can be answered...

 

I will be working at the Grande Denali Lodge starting May 3, and I have begun packing.  I will be flying, not driving, to AK and have the option of taking 4 bags but I am not entirely sure how much or exactly what I should be bringing.  After googling "What to bring when moving to Alaska lists" over what seems to be a million times, I have a good idea of what to bring but would like some feed back from people who have lived it and know exactly what to bring so I do not bring too much/too little.

 

What necessities will I need for hiking/exploring/etc that are easy to travel with?

 

From what I gather the place is fairily remote and will be traveling primarily by shuttle, will there be any interaction with other lodges/hotels/etc?

 

I am a recent college grad, is living in the employee dorm like living in a college dorm?  And how will it be separated (age, gender, job)?

 

I know AK is more expensive, how much should I stock up on hygiene products like shampoo/toothpaste/body wash/etc?

 

I like making friends and meeting new people from all age groups, but I am 22: is that a typical age for doing seasonal work or will I be an odd ball? 

 

What kind of food will be provided through the lodge, and how decent?  Is there any specific diet I should prep myself for?

 

Aside from casual hiking clothing and work clothes, should I bring dress clothes (heels, dresses, etc)?  If so, how much?

 

I realize I may easily be working over 40 hrs a week, how often is typical of working overtime and what is the average amount of free time I can expect?

 

What is the easiest way to stay in touch with my family in Missouri? ..my mom of course is making me ask this.

 

Will I be able to watch any Cards baseball games??? :)

 

Please,  if there is anything else vital for me to know before making the trip-- let me know.  All information is appreciated whether it be positive or negative!

 

 

 

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i really dont know what to say about this cause another company took over so i dont know how to explain about the housing there but there is several stores there in the area within walking distance ice cream place hotdog resterant subaway and several other smaller store what type of info they gave you they should of included that in the hiring packet like the cost of the housing and if they have shuttles to fairbanks stuff like that
Hi Lindsay ... these are great questions! Unfortunately I haven't been to Alaska yet, so I will not be much help to ya. My guess on one of your question is that your age will be perfect - lots of folks your age do seasonal work (both in AK and elsewhere). Hopefully Rick Peterson will see your post and reply - I think he can likely answer nearly all of your questions.
Congrats on going to Alaska! I decided three summers with Princess was enough for a while - I think I'll go back in a few years, when I feel like making the drive through Canada :) So, since I worked for another company, I can only answer a few questions. As for bath products to take with you: your company probably offers shuttles to Fairbanks, but keep in mind that there's only so much space available, and they will only go once or twice a week, and everyone will want to go, especially the international kids, and you can't always get that day off... And those shuttles to Fairbanks might not start running until June-ish. I suggest taking a good month's worth of your favorite things. Bath products are available in Denali, but they can cost twice as much as normal, if not more, and the big thing is limited selection -- think of a small convenience store in the middle of nowhere. Selection is great in Fairbanks, with Wal-Mart, Sams, two Fred Meyer stores, one dept. store; from my experience, prices might average 50 cents higher on most personal products. Try to keep it simple - depending on your housing, you might have to carry it down the hall to a central bathroom, and storage space is minimal and shared.

Your age is perfect :) Seasonal work is great for college kids - many of the companies in Denali do a lot of recruiting at universities all over the planet. I don't know what the statistics prove, but it seems as if 20-28 year-olds make up the largest percentage of workers, then the over-50 crowd, with retirees, then it's those of us in our 30s and 40s, who better qualify as the odd balls!

Dress clothes - the number one complaint I always heard at the end of every season: WHY DID I BRING SOOO MANY CLOTHES?!? Now, this one really depends on personal tastes and lifestyle; maybe do whatever you normally do, only simpler? A nice pair of slacks for the train, a nice pair of jeans, a couple of nice, casual tops -- no guarantee you'll need them though!

Staying in touch is easy with cell phones; any other methods depend on your housing, like if you'll have a phone in your room, if you'll have wi-fi in your building, if you're taking a laptop, etc. Best of luck this summer - I'm sure you'll have an awesome time!
A couple of general answers to some questions, because like others stated I haven't been to that specific property....Most places try there best to find compatible roommates, usually of the similar age and 22 is common. They often choose different jobs because sometimes it's an overload when you live and work together with the same person day after day. It's almost always same gender unless people come as a couple, but your neighbors might be different.

A lot of times the food depends on how committed and good of cook the edr person is doing the cooking. That can vary at a place year to year and even sometimes during the week.

Another thing that can vary year to year is the number of hours worked. Alaska overall took about a 7 percent drop in tourism last summer. Early predictions have it losing another 15 percent this year, but the economy may be rebounding a bit more. If for example, the company did hiring to reflect an 11 percent drop and they get hit with that 15 or more...hours my be hard to come by for awhile. But on the other hand if it's at 7 or less again you will be asked to pick up some additional work. Did I explain that OK?

Did the company send you any info about television possibilities? Sometimes places have no reception. Sometimes places have hook-ups in rooms. Most of the time there is one or two sets in a common room for everyone to use. After that it would depend on how well the Cards do this year...the more wins the more national coverage.

For the hiking...especially since Denali doesn't have all that many set trails...start with the basics. A good medium size pack, some good shoes, a good map, some kind of water container (camelback or bottles).

If you have a camera with a decent zoom it would be nice to bring that too. It gets a little disappointing when you show that picture of a bear and it looks like a small dog.
Thanks a million, everyone! You're answers are not only informative but are nerve and anxiety calming :)! Keith, your economical reasoning made perfect sense, thanks. If any of you think of anything in the future please dont hesitate.
I leave for Denali in 9 days! and I still don't have a complete understading of the place. I guess that adds to the excitement! Lindsay, I'll try and let you know anything I personally learn in our short gap between start dates
Just bring what is necassary like toothpaste, towels , hiking boots etc. When I went to Denali I brought two sets of luggage. One was shirts, pants, two sets of shoes ( sneakers and hiking boots), socks and underwear that was enough to last a week. The other set of luggage was books, a radio, camera, notebook, pencils, pen etc. I also brought a backpack. Also remember you may be bringing things back with you so leave enough room in your luggage for that.
if u stay overnight go to walmart to get what u need when u get to anchorage
Yeah, I think that is what I've decided. I'm spending 3 nights in Anchorage before i head to the park so I think i'm going to wait and buy a pillow and blanket and some other bulk items while I am in Anchorage. I was only planing on bringing my 4000 CI backpack and shipping a box up with some gear, but I think I'm just going to bring an extra suitcase.

I'm mostly worrried about my Gor-tex boots, some warm jackets and my sleeping bag. You guys think I'll have any trouble borrowing a tent/ finding fellow campers/hikers while I am in the park?(probably a stupid question) I don't want to bring mine and I'd hate to have to buy another one.
i think they have some but not for sure
Thanks, Grant, for your insight! Very helpful!
what u going to be doing that the chalet working cabin night

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