Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

A Summer at the Miller’s

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 view of a snow covered mountain

‘Office’ View.

 

 

 

After checkin, 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 lense 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

Front porch Sea otter

 

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

Evening 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 sitting 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 man holding a fish in the water

a person holding a fishThere were indeed busy days where I had to dig deep and find true hustle to get it all done, but the satisfaction was rich at the end of the day when we would all share a fizzy at the pub and restore our mood by a round of billiards. Other days I sweat it all off with a run through Tonsina trail where a fairytale waterfall awaited, complete with a wild berry snack on the way back. Since the sun was up for a good few hours after work, there was always time to do everything I wanted to do   and more, including hosting my own yoga classes on the beach front.

a train traveling down train tracks next to a waterfall 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working for the Miller’s 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 posing for the camera

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. 

Tonsina hike mushroom  

a group of people standing on top of a mountain

Tonsina kayak tour

 

Sophie Smith

Hospitality Manager 

@sophie___bird

  • Posted in: