As part of my nomadic lifestyle, I have been itching to go somewhere new for the summer. I wanted to go somewhere where I could work, preferably outside and with photography. So I scoured the internet for places to go, outdoor jobs and photography opportunities. I came across a Photography/Naturalist Guide position with Gastineau Guiding in Juneau, AK and was sold on the idea. After submitting my application, I heard from the Operations Manager and scheduled a Skype interview for that week. The Skype interview went well aside from minor connection issues which resulted in delayed video footage. This is a worst nightmare for me as communication can be trickier with inaccurate lip-reading. However, the OM was understanding as they had a previous guide who was hard of hearing as well. After weeks of emailing, asking questions, answering questions – I was offered a job!
With a spotty Skype interview as their only peek into my personality and how I communicate, GG wanted to make sure I was capable of handling situations as a guide that might be more difficult with my lack of hearing. Therefore, they wanted to train me as a guide but start me as a driver and put me through a ‘trial’ period. As someone who wants to be confident in being responsible for other peoples’ lives, as well as be able to provide a safe, fun environment for guests, I found this a fair offer. I’m feeling all kinds of emotions! I’m mostly elated, excited and a bit nervous for this new challenge and adventure in uncharted territory for me.
Thus began planning for my summer in AK. Housing was expected to be found, so I found the perfect place with an unbeatable location, an approval for the pupperino and get this, a waterfall in the backyard! Next, I had to get CPR and First Aid certified. Since I already have my CDL (which is required of all guides) I am fortunately a step ahead in that aspect. Finally, I had to figure out how I was going to get up there! I chose to drive for the epic road trip it would make and allowing me freedom of my next journey after the summer.
A roadtrip to AK?! YES. I asked my dear friend Annie to join me and being an avid traveler/adventurer herself, she was enthused to join! We discussed our route and planned a rough itinerary, which includes stops in Wyoming, Montana, Banff, Jasper, Liard Hot Springs, and Haines, AK. Giving ourselves about 9 days before we have to catch a ferry from Haines to Juneau since Juneau is only accessible by boat or plane. We will be camping most of the way and cooking with a newly acquired camp stove. Arya will be accompanying as the wildlife security, hiking partner and personal tent heater. We embark on this less traveled route May 1st which is closing in quickly. The photography opportunities will be endless and I am extremely excited to see what this part of the world looks like and how I can get my camera to capture it.
Below is a screenshot of the rough route.
Photography from the trip soon!