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Keith Larson's Blog (68)

Random Days in the Life: Summer 2016 Wall Drug, Part 2

This summer I am working at Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota. In Part 1, I did an overview of three random days.  In this part, I'll do 2 more...the 2nd days of August and September.  I might do an edit at the end of the season for one more day...but sometimes that part of the season gets a bit hectic.

Part 1 is here:…

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Added by Keith Larson on September 3, 2016 at 11:08am — 1 Comment

Random Days in the Life: Summer 2016 Wall Drug, Part 1

This summer I am working at Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota.  Maybe you have seen the signs if you have ever travelled on I-90.  I first heard about the company because of those signs.  It was in an advertising class in college.  Several years ago I was making a trip across the country and was going to spend a weekend in Pierre.  Seeing those signs along the way reminded me of the place and looked up opportunities for seasonal work.  I…

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Added by Keith Larson on September 3, 2016 at 11:00am — No Comments

Life with CoolWorks....Updated

I had been cooking for more than 10 years when I first heard of people that would work seasonally. I was a sous chef at a local resort in Wisconsin and was training a cook for the summer. He told me about how he had worked at the Grand Canyon and at Yosemite National Parks, but that summer he had two sisters getting married and his grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary and decided to stay home for the summer.



A couple of years later in 1996, I was surfing the internet and came…

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Added by Keith Larson on August 7, 2015 at 8:00pm — 2 Comments

A Week in the Life Summer 2015 - Day 2

This morning I decided to walk downtown to catch a ferry over to St Ignace.  It's the small town on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the northern point of the Mackinac Bridge.  There are also ferries that go to the lower peninsula, that town is Mackinaw City.  First, I went to the shoreline where Market…

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Added by Keith Larson on July 13, 2015 at 7:25pm — 1 Comment

Day 1 - A Week in the Life Summer 2015

This summer I am working, living and exploring Mackinac Island, Michigan. Sanders on Mackinac is where I am employed as a Fudge Maker.  And people that come to the island eat a LOT of fudge.  So much, in fact,…

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Added by Keith Larson on July 12, 2015 at 9:30pm — No Comments

A Week in the Life - Goldminer's Daughter Lodge

This season I am working in Alta, Utah at the Goldminer's Daughter Lodge. I started the season in the middle of November and it will be complete on April 19.  I am one of the cooks in the Top of the Lodge restaurant.  Here is a quick little look at my week from February…

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Added by Keith Larson on March 2, 2015 at 6:00pm — No Comments

A Week in the Life -- Alaska Wildland Adventures

This is my third season with Alaska Wildland Adventures at their Cooper Landing location, the Kenai Riverside Lodge.  It's the center of their three lodges, and the location of all the Sportsfishing activities.  In 2012, I blogged about a day in the life.  My position is the same, and a good day is about the same too.  That one is here: …

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Added by Keith Larson on August 2, 2014 at 3:51pm — No Comments

End of 2013-14 Winter, Looking Back and Ahead

I'm just about finished with my winter job.  I had decided to stay near home this winter for a couple of reasons.  I've been camping in my sister's basement, throwing a bit of money for rent.  I also managed to beat the seasonal hiring bias and picked up a job at a local Premier Best Western.

First thing I noticed on my return....wages in the service industry have dropped locally.  From what I could determine this happened sometime near the beginning of the recession.

Second…

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Added by Keith Larson on April 17, 2014 at 11:30am — No Comments

Quick Spring '14 Vacation

This winter season I decided to stay near home for a few personal reasons.  I am really looking forward to getting back into the groove of things.

I'm staying in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and picked up a local job at a Best Western Premier hotel in town.  I'll go up to De Pere (in the Green Bay metro area) for a couple of days in early May to visit my mother.  On May 4 I start the long bus ride.  I have transfers in Milwaukee, Chicago, and Memphis.  I have stops of half an hour or longer…

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Added by Keith Larson on February 18, 2014 at 2:06pm — No Comments

Home For Awhile

Just a quick little blog.

Between jobs I usually make a stop to see my mother.  She's 87 and for the most part healthy.  But this stop I felt she was looking like she's slowing down.  Compared to many her age, she's probably doing much better, so there might not be much to my concern.

For two weeks I was having communication problems with the employer that I was looking at spending the winter season.  That's not the greatest sign, and most of seasonal work is gut feeling...both…

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Added by Keith Larson on October 31, 2013 at 12:20pm — 3 Comments

A Month in the Life: Work Exchange Program at Concordia Eco Resort

For a couple of years now I have been looking at the Employment Opportunities page of Maho Bay Camps. I had heard about them through meeting a few people here and in the life.  They had an interesting Work Exchange Program listed. The program was also happening at their sister resort, Concordia Eco Resort. For a month, either beginning to end or mid to mid, you agree to work 4-hours for each day....a 30-day stay means 120 hours. The program runs from the beginning of June until mid-November.…

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Added by Keith Larson on October 11, 2013 at 6:57pm — 1 Comment

Number 15 Completed and It's On to the 16th

This morning I completed my summer season at Alaska Wildland Adventures at their Kenai Riverside Lodge in Cooper Landing.  It was another fantastic season and flew by a bit too quickly.  It was my second season there as the Lead Breakfast Chef, the same as I had last year.  I was going to write a "Day in the Life" blog...but realized it was almost the same as last year's: 2012's…

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Added by Keith Larson on September 10, 2013 at 12:31am — No Comments

Good morning, Bear!

Bears rear up when confronted to make themselves look bigger.  Found out early this morning that it works.  I stepped out of a storage area at 4 am to be greeted by what I thought was a huge bruin about 10 ft from me.  I saw one of the fish guides and we tracked him down to the river where the rafts are located, near the fish cleaning station.



I had grabbed an airhorn in one hand, a can of bear spray in the other.  Air horns usually work, and actually just…

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Added by Keith Larson on July 2, 2013 at 2:40pm — No Comments

A Week in the Life -- Rancho de los Caballeros

Day 1- Wednesday 27 March 2013

This winter/spring season, I am working at Rancho de los Caballeros in Wickenburg, Arizona.  Those of you that have read my blog in previous years know that this is not my first time in the town.  I had worked at a small dude ranch on the other side of town, the Kay El Bar, for a few seasons.  Our work week runs from Wednesday to Tuesday…

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Added by Keith Larson on April 4, 2013 at 8:19pm — 6 Comments

Alaska Wildland Adventures Summer '12 Slideshow

Brooke put together a slideshow from collected photos from staff.

I'm planning on returning this summer.

r.

 

Added by Keith Larson on November 19, 2012 at 3:19pm — No Comments

Fall 2012 Trip Plans

Just a quick little note.  I finish my summer season at Alaska Wildland Adventures in a four days.  On Saturday, I'll be going to Anchorage and I have a late flight...9:30 pm.  For the price I was willing to pay I had two choices, 9:30 pm or 5 am.  Everything in the middle the price almost doubled.  I'll be landing in Seattle a little before 2 am.

I have about 4.5 hours layover before catching the connecting flight to Las Vegas.  I'll arrive there a little before 9am.  Yeah, I know,…

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Added by Keith Larson on September 3, 2012 at 4:00pm — 3 Comments

A Day in the Life at Alaska Wildland Adventures

This summer I'm in Cooper Landing, Alaska.  I work as the Lead Breakfast Cook for Alaska Wildland Adventures (AWA).  My day starts at 1:40 am, it's now starting to get darker in the middle of the night so I need a flashlight in my tent cabin.  They are similar to the tent cabins that I have seen pictures of in Yosemite employee housing.  Outside, it's not astronomical twilight yet, so I can see clearly enough to get to the bathhouse first to clean up a bit before heading to the main lodge…

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Added by Keith Larson on July 14, 2012 at 6:39am — 1 Comment

Altitude, Activity, Alcohol, Size(?) and Seasonal Employee Retention--Draft

OK...I sometimes think a bit too much.

I have been working on this in my head for a couple of seasons.  Just have to get some of it down, it's getting to cluttered in there.  I would like some input and not all from personal experiences.  References to actual scientific and social scientific works would be nice too.  For or against...it's just an intellectual exercise.

I have been at seasonal workplaces where the employee turnover rate during and between seasons is very…

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Added by Keith Larson on March 26, 2012 at 12:04pm — 3 Comments

Alta and Beyond

Since the beginning of December, I have been living and working at Alta's Rustler Lodge in Alta, Utah.  Time has been flying, and there are only 36 days left of the season.  For the first couple of weeks the cooks tried a variety of positions...breakfast, dinner, saute, broiler...  Since then I have been the main breakfast/lunch cook.

Alta is just a short trip to/from the Salt Lake metro area.  There are ski buses that run several times a day between Alta and Sandy, and Alta and…

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Added by Keith Larson on March 9, 2012 at 6:25pm — 2 Comments

Season Nearing End, Time Between, and the Next Season Too

There is six weeks left of my season at the Grand Canyon's North Rim.  Let's just say it's been an interesting season.  One of the upper managers has me considering a return next year...I doubt it, but I'll still consider it.  Part of me thinks that life would run much smoother here if they could build more consistency.  But I'm all about something new.  There are more than 30 summer places that I would like to check out and I find another one or two every year...I'll be 50 in January...so…

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Added by Keith Larson on September 4, 2011 at 5:06pm — 3 Comments

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