The Andersons at the Temples and Towers of the Virgin, Zion National Park.

Yesterday I was on the phone with a guest making a reservation for next summer, and she asked me if we live in Alaska year-round. We actually get asked that question a lot. Yes, we do. At the end of summer, we trade in our fishing rods for skis and wait for the snow to start falling.

Years ago, towards the end of my first summer up here, Jeremy told me I should stay for the winter. I did, and that is when Alaska lured me into living here. Had I not stayed, I would not have seen the full spectrum of extremes that define this place. The balance of life here occurs in seasons, and aside from beautiful, Alaska in winter is opposite of summer in every way. But that’s what we love about it.

The quiet of fall and winter replace the busyness of summer like the long nights replace the endless days. It’s when we reflect on the past season at the lodge, and prepare and re-energize for the next.

Each fall we spend a little time traveling as a family. It’s our chance to relax and bond as a family, but it’s also our chance to be travelers. We love seeing how other people run their businesses and the unique ways in they provide their customers with positive experiences. As business owners in the tourism industry, we have learned a lot from being tourists and have gained a better understanding of the hosts that we want to be.

This year the kids put the first stamp in their National Parks Passports at Zion National Park. It was an amazing trip, made even better by a few local businesses that we’d love to recommend. If you ever make it to Zion, be sure to check out:

Meme’s Café
Zion Adventure Company
Majestic View Lodge
National Park Service – Zion National Park