In the summer of 2002, my husband and I came to Alaska and spent the summer just being tourists and bumming around in our RV. It was a dream of a lifetime and we knew that we loved Alaska and wanted to return. We also knew that it was a super expensive trip and we would have to be very creative with our finances if we ever made the trip again. We are both retired teachers and school administrators and have retirement money, but not that great.
That answer for us happened with an organization we belonged to called Workampers. We posted an on-line resume and marked Alaska as a place we would like to work . Ann Ely, the HR person at Kenai Princess Lodge in Cooper Landing, AK called us and asked if we would like to go to work for the Princess Lodge. When my husband found out that the lodge is located at the headwaters of the Kenai River, best salmon fishing river in the world, he said “Let’s do it.” We started at KPL in 2004 working as night auditor/front desk and maintenance/ security. We have returned each summer to KPL since 2004 and have no plans to quit anytime soon.
We love the lodge, the people we work with here, and the fishing in the Kenai River. Our jobs have changed slightly, my husband is full time security now, and I am an administrative assistant. Even though we are transplanted Texans (and, yes, we still talk with a Texas twang), we consider Cooper Landing home, as we spend more time here than we do anywhere else.The community is very receptive to summer people who come and enter into the fun things the community does.
THE ALASKA EXPERIENCE: