Sunday, May 27, 2007

Training No More

Kenai Fjords - Sea Otter

Me at glacier on Kenai Fjords. Glacier is part of the Harding ice field.

Portage lake cruise and glacier. It was raining and sleeting that day, but still beautiful.

The training group at the Portage Glacier.

Zach holding glacier ice. You think I'm holding it with my bare hands?!

Colleen, Melissa, me, Janis and Ingrid at the top of Mt. Aleyeska.

I can make anything look good!

Melissa, one of my roommates, and me. Juli is another one of my roommates and we found time to karaoke in Anchorage.

Reindeer a.k.a domesticated caribou

ATV riding... My head is too big, even for the helmet.

Give me land, lots of land under starry skies above ... This was a beautiful ride on the tundra near Denali. My horse's name was Kodiak. One of the other tour directors said I looked like a natural. I was
flattered at the moment, but after looking at this picture, I know it was a lie!
The only truth may be that I looked more natural than they.


Me at the pipeline in Fairbanks.

Athabascan native modeling the coat made by her mother.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Tales of the Trip

I had a great trip to Anchorage, but it's not without a couple great stories. First, I flew to Las Vegas and there I had to switch planes. I arrived in LV at 7:30 ... the flight wasn't supposed to leave until 9:00. At a quarter til, Southwest canceled the flight due to mechanical difficulties. No worries, there was a plane leaving in 15 minutes that was stopping in Oakland on its way to seattle. I quickly switched tickets, and so did the other passengers, and we booked it clear across the airport. The best part is that I didn't miss my Alaska Airlines connecting flight.

While on the Alaska flight, I struck up a conversation with the gentleman seated next to me. Turns out, he's the human resources manager for the Aleyeska resort, which is one of the places HAL frequents. We exchanged information and I will probably make it down there during an off day to familiarize myself with the resort and the optional tours the resort offers. Anyway, he was such a nice guy! He offered to drive me to my complex from the airport, and I took him up on it. Otherwise, I would've had to have taken a taxi. This isn't something I would regularly do, but I believed he was legit.

The roommates I've met so far are great. There are some that are already training that I haven't met, some that are leaving tomorrow and others coming in next week and even more next month.

Today I explored Anchorage. It's amazing to see all the mountains surrounding the city! The city reminds me of a small town, but here's an odd fact; the city limits of Anchorage is the same size as the state of Delaware! I explored downtown, which is walking distance, and I will possibly bike a coastal trail tomorrow. My training starts in the evening, so I'll have plenty of time.

I also found out today that I'll be doing a Prudhoe Bay training on June 9, which is one of the northern most points in Alaska. It'll be extremely bright then since summer solstice is June 21. As I'm writing this, it's 10:30 p.m. and it looks like it's 6 p.m. outside!

I'm excited to learn what tours I'm doing and the processes tomorrow.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

North to Alaska!

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind! San Francisco was great, and I've never felt so right about any decision in my entire life. I have found what I was meant to do. I now know that I can go anywhere in the world and do a great job as a tour director.

The people in the course were wonderful. We couldn't have been more different, but we all had a common thread. Each one of us have a love for travel, new cultures and learning. After the many hours in class, we have a strong bond.

During the schooling in SF, we all had to do the SF city tour. That was a
lot of work, but it was a lot of fun. We also went to Yosemite. It was absolutely gorgeous! The picture to the left is one of the Giant Sequouias in Mariposa Grove and below is a view showing El Capatan, Half Dome and the Three Brothers. After going to Yosemite, I think I would really enjoy doing national park tours.

Now it's off to Alaska until September. There I'll be conducting land tours. I don't have a lot of details, but there is a week training session, which is reassuring. I'll keep you updated and posting photos every now and then.

My cell phone still works in the major Alaskan cities, so feel free to drop me a line, shoot me an email or leave a comment on the blog.