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Well in 23 hours and 36 minutes I will be landing in Anchorage. I have packed, unpacked, and repacked about 4 times now, and then after reviewing the baggage limits on the United Airlines website I realized that one of my bags was waaay too big!!! So a frantic trip to the goodwill provided me with an appropriate sized piece of luggage circa 1974 for a mere 6 bucks. And after a fifth repacking session and another resort I finally got everything I could possibly stuff into my two bags and stay within the 50 lbs limit. This is the first time I am flying to my place of work, and words cannot describe how happy I am about not having to ride the dang old dirty dog again (GreyHound) Although my bank account doesn't seem to be as happy about as I am, as plane tickets were much more expensive than the old 99 dollar ticket to anywhere. But at least I wont be squeezed into a tin can like a sardine for three days with a bunch of strange smelly people this time. I almost cant believe that I actually going to Alaska. This has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. And while I am no stranger to the seasonal world, for some reason I just always assumed that going to work all the way up in Alaska was out of my reach. But this I decided what the heck and gave it a whirl, and ended up with the most responses from employers than I ever have before! It almost seemed easier to get a job in Alaska than anywhere else. So I carefully reviewed the companies that gave me job offers and did some looking online into the different parts of Alaska and finally decided to take a job with Gwins Lodge in Cooper Landing. I took this job over working for the two big companies in Denali for a few reasons. The first being that the owner of the company really made a great impression on me during the phone conversations that I had and was very helpful in answering my questions and concerns in a very quick timely fashion. I also have always had much more fun, and felt better about working for smaller, family owned operations. I have nothing really against the big corporate places, but a smaller staff has always been better for me as it is more like a family or community atmosphere, and being one of 30 or 40 people is better than being one of 2000 people, that just isn't really my bag. Also Cooper Landing seemed to provide me with all the things that I really wanted to be able to do in Alaska, like fishing, hiking, pan for gold, and a myriad of other outdoor activities. I can't wait to see and do it all. I will be luck enough to have two days off in a row at this job, which as most of you know is a rarity in this type of work environment. So that will help with being able to really get out there and see more of the state. I have a lot planned for this summer. I want to get up to Denali and check out the park, and head up to Healy to trek out to famous Bus. I want to get up to MPL and visit with the famous Mr. Rick Peterson. I want to see the northern lights, which hopefully will happen in october. The lodge that I am working for has lots of free trips for employees, a bunch of fishing charters, cruises, and really just all kinds of neat stuff to do. I want to see a whale. I want to see a Puffin. I want to see bears catching salmon. I want to catch a bunch of giant fish. I want, I want, I want to see and do it all! I look forward to meeting some folks off here that are going to be in the area as well. It's always neat to meet fellow CoolWorkers. It's like a secret society, and I think we should have a secret handshake or something! I also look forward to continue to blog about my summer experience and post lots of photos. I really hope that all the folks that are regular contributers on here also continue to add to the site throughout the summer as well.
So as I sit here on the porch rocking out to Whiskeytown, and spending my last night with my new friend Pants the dog, I just wanted to share some of my thoughts and plans for the summer. I have enjoyed my vacation, but am ready to get back to work. I hope that everyone on here has an amazing summer, and maybe we will run into each other over the summer. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Everyone have a safe trip to where they are going, and most of all have fun and stay safe! Next time you hear from me I will be in ALASKA!!!!!!!

Regards,
Brian

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Comment by Andrew on April 9, 2008 at 12:31pm
Hope your trip is safe man and you have a blast every moment. Oh there's definately huge fish to be caught! That's awesome you'll have the time to get out and about. Especially with arriving early. Keep up the post as I look forward to reading and hearing about all the excitement. I'm sure it will inspire many people to do the same.
Comment by Nicholle on April 8, 2008 at 11:39pm
I am extremely jealous because I can't be there yet, but extremely excited for you! I too will be there soon...all in due time! So much to do in such little time I have left here....I really need to start planning what I'm going to pack, and planning my road trip up there. That alone is an adventure:) I think I'm going to follow your lead and do my own blog about my adventures up there. Not much of a writer, but it's all about keeping the memories and being able to look back on them for years to come! ALASKA OR BUST!!!!!!!

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