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A Summer at the Miller’s

a person riding a wave on top of a snow covered mountain

I arrived in early April. Approaching Alaska via the airplane blew my mind wide open, I never knew such vastness existed as I gazed into the glacial abyss. Cut to, the bus ride to Seward, another shock to the system as we drove along untouched mountains, winding into the depths of it all. As I arrived to the Landing, I approached the office with my jaw hanging loose, as I breathed in the view from this so called *office*.  I felt a bit nervous and maybe a bit out of my league, for I’d spent a great deal of time in nature, but never had I imagined being soo in it, working soo with it.


a group of clouds in the sky over a snow covered mountain

‘Office’ View

After check-in, I gave myself a bit of time to familiarize myself with the place. I had a meander around the slippery beach with my camera. I spotted something splashing about, zooming in with my lens I realized it was a Sea Otter, the first I’d ever seen one in my life. Hang on, there were *two* Sea Otters! I snapped my camera ferociously, dumbfounded that so much nature was happening within only an hour of landing at the landing. Little did I know how pathetic (no offense Sea Otters) these photos actually were compared to the nature shots I’d acquire among the next 6 months.

a large body of water

Sea Otters seen from the Miller’s Landing front porch!

Later that day I was invited by fellow teammates to join a beachside fire. Last seasons salmon was brought, and we enjoyed a feast, a fizzy, and belly full of laughs discovering who’s who, the first of many fires that would surely become a near ritual.

a group of people standing around a fire

An evening spent fireside

I was hired to be manager of the housekeeping department. Formerly I had housekept around the world in beautiful locations. But never was the beauty such as this. I cleaned high end lodges and true camp cabins alike. Scrubbing toilets while being interrupted by the sound of a whale spouting air. Making beds when out of the corner of my eye some seals passing by.  Sweeping a porch as an eagle kept his eye on me. It was almost too good to be true, but nevertheless there it all was, happening day in and day out as I made money.


I was invited to tag along on a few kayak tours as the season was beginning to pick up. I packed a sandwich that I’d later eat as a glacier calved right in front of my face on the Aialik Tour. I witnessed orcas among starfish, and Jellyfish among seals on the Resurrection Bay Tour. 

a group of people standing on top of a snow covered mountain


I hopped on a fishing tour and caught myself a handful of fish. The crew was always sharing our catch among one another, and the Millers were always sharing their catch with everyone at the weekly potluck on the porch.

a person holding a fish in the water  a group of people standing next to a window

Working for the Millers’ family owned and operated Homestead came with genuine pride. Working among brothers born and raised in the bay really brought a wild touch to it all with their unique tales and wisdoms. I wasn’t treated as a number, I was a part of the team that made it all possible. My personality was allowed and my spirit was welcomed, something not too standard at others places I’ve worked.

a group of people on a road

The ML 2019 Crew

That was all in 2019. Since then I traveled Australia with my very best friend that I met at Miller’s Landing. I have kept in touch with nearly every single person I met that year. In my travels I often boasted of my days spent at the Landing, and have dreamt about returning ever since.

Within a catch-up with Tom Miller, I found out there’s a great position back at Millers Landing for me. I was pleased to hear the improvements, expansions, and pay increase made since I left. In 2022’s spring season, I’ll be returning with my husband and our babe. I’m truly ecstatic to share the wild and rugged excitement with my family and to call Miller’s Landing home, again. 

a close up of a garden

A mushroom found on a hike to Tonsina

a group of people standing on top of a snow covered mountain

Kayak trip to Tonsina


Sophie Smith

Hospitality Manager 


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