Caribou, porcupine, and a 3 legged bear!

Thirty-one days without a day off.  Twelve & thirteen hour days.  Please forgive me for being exhausted and a bit behind on posting!  Opening a hotel is always challenging, and we faced some unique problems this year that made it even more… interesting.  The biggest problem was that it took 3 weeks to get our water functioning.  Yuck.

On May 1 a few of us took a snowy drive into the park, taking advantage of the road being open to private vehicles until mile 30 in the spring.  This drive was particularly productive – over 50 caribou, 8 moose, several porcupine.  I’m psyched about the footage of the caribou running through the snowstorm.

In 2011 I heard about the 3 legged bear, but never saw it.  I’ve seen it twice this spring, including once literally on the side of the road.

Each May our company hosts “Trashin’ Fashion” for the local community.  It’s a fundraiser, and is meant to highlight the need for recycling.  I’m not sure how well it succeeds on either score (ARAMARK spends more hosting it than it raises), but we do it anyway.  I got dragged into it this year, which meant wearing a costume that was recycled in some way.  Mine was a “barrel” that the event founder wore at a cancer fundraiser.

To say I felt awkward wearing this “costume” in front of 100+ people is an understatement. Not only was I mostly naked, but no one knew what it was. Oh well. I did my part.

Perhaps I made off better than our Operations Manager, who had to wear a dress made of tree branches and lichen.

The three “lucky” contestants, with the costume designer and host.

With that evening over, we were able to concentrate again on opening the hotel.  Freezing water pipes, broken water pumps, exploding toilets, 5 water-damaged employee rooms, 16 water-damaged guest rooms… loads of fun!

I did manage to get out for two nice drives on the Denali Highway.

The hotel is running smoothly now, our crazy days are (hopefully) over.

Last week the company sent me to Glacier Bay National Park to help open our lodge there.  I’ll post that trip soon.

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