2 months in AK and about time I wrote an entry

Trip Start May 11, 2008
Trip End Sep 21, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wow, I can't believe that I've been here at Creekside for 2 months now, and have yet to write an entry in here. SORRY!!! I will do my best to keep this updated more frequently these last two months that I'll be here.

After a stressful and hectic senior year Alaska has been exactly what I needed. I simply could not be happier with how things turned out. I'm surrounded by beautiful mountains and good people. There's a gorgeous mountain that I have a perfect view of from my bedroom window!

When I arrived here at McKinley Creekside Cabins two months ago there was still snow on the ground and the creek was still frozen over. It's been fun to see things start to thaw out and turn green. You really appreciate the few flowers that are tough enough to face the fickle weather. The first few weeks I was here, the weather was particularly indecisive. Days would start out sunny, and then it would start to rain, and then snow, and then maybe hail, and then the sun would come out again etc... It's not quite as severe anymore, thankfully it has stopped snowing, but you still need to be prepared for a pretty wide range of temperatures throughout the day. Until a few weeks ago it has stayed pretty chilly here. I actually broke a sweat at work the other day and thought the temperature had reached at least 80 degrees...but it was only about 71! In fact I think the high for the summer so far is about 75.

But enough about the weather already. I'm working as a housekeeper here with 3 other people. Josh, my boss, is a really laid back guy and easy to work with. Kebra is from Portland Oregon and is currently teaching me how to knit. Alaina is from Canada (I'll post pictures from our huge Canada celebration soon) and has become one of my good friends here. I was kind of shocked when I learned that there were only 4 of us on the housekeeping staff. At my previous housekeeping job there were a lot more of us and a lot less cabins. But after a few days of work I realized that we can definitely handle it. I still giggle a little bit everytime that I have to announce "housekeeping" before i enter a room. I've come to a couple conclusions after two months of housekeeping...one is that I couldn't do this job for the longterm...it's hardwork and definitely underappreciated. And from now on I will always always tip the housekeeper (tipping is especially appreciated with a huge mess and/or late checkouts!!). Just today I got a second part-time job at the local pub across the creek. It'll only be a couple nights a week, also very laid back, and the extra money will be nice.

There are about 30 of us that work for Holly and Tracey, the owners of Creekside. They are two best friends who started this business completely on their own about ten years ago, and which has now turned into quite a success. We all live together in community housing. I share a room with someone and then a bathroom with 2 other girls. I seem to have troubles keeping a roommate. My first two roommates ended up leaving for various reasons. My new roommate Emily just moved in and hopefully will stay longer than the other two.

My brother Matt is also in Alaska this summer! He has a job near Anchorage, which is about 4 hours from where I'm located. We've been really lucky in being able to meet up with each other. He had a job in Fairbanks last month, and was able to stay with me at Creekside for a few days. And over the 4th of July weekend I was able to get some extra time off of work to go and meet him to visit both Seward and Homer AK. We basically spent the entire time hiking and gaping at unbelievably stunning scenery.

Sorry again for taking so long to post in here! I'll be posting more pictures throughout the next couple days. I love hearing updates from all of you as well!! My address here is...

Halen Bower
P.O. Box 652
Denali National Park, AK 99755

My cellphone also works here...most of the time...reception is kinda sketchy, so if you call me and i don't respond right away it's probably bc it took 3 days for my phone to register your voice mail. My number is 218-851-3756.

will post again soon.

much love,
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