In 2002 I retired from my job in City Government and decided to try the adventure of a lifetime, that of visiting Alaska. Alaska was my homeland for a short period of my childhood, living both in Anchorage and Juneau. It was a tremendous honor to return to Alaska and my first assignment was in Ketchikan. I have worked for the company every year since and have had the pleasure to visit a great deal of Alaska. I have worked from Anchorage to Fairbanks and spent a good deal of time in Denali National Park. Ketchikan always calls me back and this is my fourth contract in Ketchikan.
The beauty here is unmatched and though all of Alaska holds treasures, I have found a home in Ketchikan. The people here are so amazing to be around and the mountains of Ketchikan are incredible at any time of year. Deer Mountain is covered with snow when I first arrive each year and by July the snow is melted. That allows hiking of Deer Mountain to the top of its 3001-foot peak. The vistas are incredible and you feel an awe and amazement viewing the world from there that I have not been able to equal anywhere else.
Being the first city of Alaska, many of the ships stop here first and it is up to us as tour guides to present Alaska in all its glory and beauty. There are so many different tours in Ketchikan that we can participate in that all my days off are filled with excitement and experiences that will last me a lifetime. I have watched many people of all ages and backgrounds come to Alaska to work for Princess and Holland America and all of them leave here a different person. Some are much more outgoing, some are more rounded individuals, and some are persons to be admired leaving me to hope they come back again to work for Princess and Holland America.
I have made friends for life in this job, and have kept in touch with many, many of our former drivers over the years. It is wonderful to meet drivers from all walks of life and see how they all bring part of their world to show the cruise passengers how incredible Alaska really is. With what we all take away from Alaska each year, it leaves a profound impression on our lives and makes the path we choose for future adventures so much more rewarding. I only hope you will come to Alaska and experience what I am talking about for yourself. I cannot imagine not returning to Alaska and seeing the great land year to year.
If you enjoy adventure, this is certainly the job for you. The opportunity to fish, kayak, zip line, ride go-karts, travel by jet boat, or float plane, snorkel, jeep the back country, walk the rain forest, or go crab fishing, as well as learn and guide tours regarding native life and totem poles has sold me on Ketchikan. I hope you will come to Ketchikan and let us show you the experiences of Alaska.