Saturday, May 10, 2008

In the Land of Gold!!

So as you may already know (since I'm pretty sure that my family members are the only ones who read this thing), I have moved up to Alaska for the summer! I am working for Discover Alaska Tours/Holland America driving motor coaches. Yes that's right, I am what I like to call a "motor coach commander" (not to be confused with a plain old "bus driver"! I've been here for almost two weeks but I am already having tons of fun!! I live in a little town called Skagway which was the "gateway" town to the Klondike where the largest gold rush in the world occurred! Skagway only has a population of 850-ish. There's no big chain stores and milk costs $6.11 a gallon!! But for now the scenery and people I've met have well made up for that. Plus, no stores=more money saved ;)

The company I work for has set us up in the Westmark Hotel (since they own it) and the employees live in an employee wing. It's pretty ghetto but a fun place to live. I will also be on the highway driving team, which basically means that I'll be on the road 5-6 days out of the week so I guess it doesn't really matter what my accommodations are like.

So far we've just been doing a lot of training. We have had two ship days and I've officially done one tour. I'll admit that even though I don't know a whole lot about the town itself (I know just enough to get me through the tour) I had a lot of fun showing people around town in my big motor coach. Right now me and my fellow highway drivers are missing a few ship days this weekend, in order to get acquainted with the highway portions we'll have to drive in the next few weeks. It's a little overwhelming the information you have to learn (since we're with the same passengers for 3 days as opposed to a few hours) but it'll be nice to be able to see more of the land. The tour we drive actually goes into the Yukon Territory of Canada and so far I've crossed the border more in the last two weeks than I have my entire life!! :) Oh and wildlife sightings so far? Well nothing super amazing (I'm still waiting for a moose and a close-up bear) but I've seen 3 Bald Eagles, a couple Caribou, an Arctic Rabbit, some brown squirrels, and from really far away, a bear on a hillside. I can't wait until I get my new camera so that I can capture some awesome things!!

So yea I know this is short, but it's been really fantastic so far and I'm really excited to learn more! Maybe I can find the time later to embellish! :)