Although I can’t say exactly what I uttered after following a link Keith sent me, I was awed by the description of the property. Back in August, 2011, He sent me a link to a fishing lodge website. A fishing lodge in Alaska (?!). It was purportedly shut down and for sale. Our good friend and my former client, Bob Harr, had sent Keith to the site after Keith inquired about another piece of Alaskan real estate. Bob said, it’s probably fine, but maybe a bit swampy (or did he say buggy?). How about checking out this fishing lodge?
Eleven days later, Keith and I found ourselves a bit disoriented in a strange land, where it was still daylight at 10 PM after we have arrived at a dumpy motel near the Anchorage airport. At a nearby restaurant called Gwennies (!) we fed our hungry tummies. This place was complete with a stuffed brown bear, pond, and other myriad items that I can only describe as strange but maybe representative of Alaska. It's questionable but what did we know?! We suffered sticker shock as I ate my king crab omelet and $7 bacon (3 slices though I have to admit they were good thick bacon).
The next day, an overcast day and cold by Dallas standards, we met with Bob, who drove up to Anchorage to take us to the property. The fishing lodge is located on the Kenai Peninsula, about a two-hour drive from Anchorage. The drive itself was very scenic as we rounded the Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet. At a couple of spots we stopped for pictures of wildlife (mountain goats) and the beautiful mountains and water. For us Dallasites, the sight of mountains is always exciting and breathtaking, and definitely worth taking a second and third look.
After arriving at the fishing lodge we met with a real estate agent and a bank personnel who is handling the foreclosure of the property. It took us three hours to tour the 5-acre property and look into every building. It was almost overwhelming to take in everything — an authentic log roadhouse that housed a restaurant and bar, two two-story cottage houses, a retail building, 15 cabins, two pavilions, personnel cabins, and various out buildings. Near the end I was physically and mentally fatigued. On the one hand I was excited about the prospect of a new adventure and opportunities this lodge would bring us, on the other, I was concerned about what additional burden/risks we would be taking on.
Less than a week later, we were in the process of buying the fishing lodge. We’ve jumped in head-first into our Alaska adventure!
Copyright 2018 Wei Wei Jeang. All rights reserved.