Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park

Alaska Trip - Job Application

Roadside scenery driving south to Skagway, Alaska. Looks like this job is filled, at least from June through August 2002. We got a lot of great-sounding applications but it was a pretty tough to refuse a known quantity, i.e., one of the young people that we worked with in the dotcom years (Jesse Kipp; he is now back in school). The most intriguing application came from a young Delta Airlines regional jet pilot. He's got 3000 hours, much of which comes from flying cargo turboprops through clouds, and nearly every possible FAA certificate. With this guy in the right seat, I might actually make it back to Boston alive, which is a great illustration of the power of the Web!

To those who applied: (1) there is some possibility that one or both of these guys will fall through; (2) we might decide that it would be good to have a driver for September and October (Seattle to San Diego); and (3) we will almost certainly do this again (through Europe in Summer 2003 and then again through North America maybe in Fall 2003 or into 2004). So you might get some email from us later this year or even next year asking if you're free to travel a bit...

How would you like to go on an all-expenses paid trip to Alaska this summer? You'll drive from Boston out to Yellowstone National Park, up through the Canadian Rockies, and then up the Alaska Highway to Fairbanks and finally spend a little over a month touring the largest state. You'll leave on June 1, 2002 and return in late August (we'll buy you a plane ticket from Juneau, Alaska to the destination of your choice).

This opportunity exists because we want to get a dog, an airplane, and a bunch of stuff (bikes, books, etc.) simultaneously across the continent. When we land the airplane we'd like to find you waiting for us in the airport parking lot. You'll be in the Winnebago RV with bikes, books, and a dog-friendly place to sleep (it is very tough to find hotel rooms in Alaska during the summer and when you add the dog into the equation it becomes nearly impossible).

Job responsibilities:

Driving Winnebago motorhome for 80 percent of the road miles between Boston and Anchorage, Alaska, plus some driving around the interior of Alaska. Our vehicle is a 2002 Winnebago Sightseer, 27 feet long (twice as long as the average car). After a day or two it seems fairly natural to drive but it is always more tiring than driving a car and you cannot go more than 50 or 55 mph if there are strong crosswinds. The direct mileage from Boston to Anchorage is less than 5000 miles but we'll be taking detours to national parks, etc. So figure 8000 miles total over an 80-day period, i.e., an average of 100 miles per day but more likely bunched into 200-mile and 10-mile days.

Alex at 18 months Your responsibilities include the following smaller tasks: Navigating to little airports so that you can meet the airplane that we'll be flying. Selecting campgrounds. Hooking up and unhooking RV. Dumping RV holding tanks. Filling RV with gasoline, oil, and LP gas. Food shopping (but not cooking). Some dog walking and dog sitting.

Where you'll sleep: If we're all together and the weather is nice, in a tent next to the RV. If you're alone or it is raining, the dinette in the RV can be folded down into a bed. If we find a dog-friendly hotel, in your own hotel or motel room.

What you can bring: The Winnebago has enough storage space that you could bring two duffel bags full of clothing and one bicycle to go on the rear rack.

Compensation: All expenses paid (transportion, food, museum and park entry fees, incidentals). A cash bonus will be paid at the end of the summer.

Clear cut Indian-owned mountainsides on the flight to Misty Fjords National Monument.  Southeast Alaska. Perks: Scenic tours over various parts of the country in a brand-new $230,000 airplane with Plexiglas canopies affording superb visibility in all directions.

Entertainment: The Winnebago is equipped with AM/FM/CD/MP3-encoded CD/DVD/TV.

Leisure time: When you're not needed for driving you can hike, bike, read, study, take pictures, or whatever else that you'd like to do.

Companions: Philip Greenspun, 38 years old, retired, skills include computer programming, writing, and photography. Interests include teaching, flying, and travel. See for more. Kyle Elizabeth Nicholls, 31 years old, information architect and dotcom turnaround specialist, skills include gourmet cooking, teaching, organization, and planning. Interests include reading, traveling, and flying. At times we may add a flight instructor to our merry band. And of course... Alex.


Note: this form will be submitted via email to If you have any trouble submitting, you can send us your application via ordinary email with a subject line of "Application for Alaska driving job". If you're using Microsoft Outlook you may need to go into your Outbox after submitting the form, open the message, and click "send".
Current Job (e.g., "Junior at Yale; history major"): 
Age (we need this for our insurance company): 
Years since obtained driver's license: 
Total miles driven: 

Describe any accidents you've had or speeding tickets that you've gotten:
(sadly, the insurance company will check this)

Any experience driving a truck or motorhome?

Any experience with long cross-country drives?

Describe your camping and backpacking experience, if any:

Describe your overall travel experience (where have you been
and what were your favorite places):
Describe your overall work experience, including at least one employer reference:

What do you like to do in your leisure time?

What are a couple of books that you've read and movies
that you've seen recently that you'd recommend to a friend?

Write three paragraphs on why you want to take this trip this summer:

Where will you want to go at the end of the summer?  
Date that you're available to start the trip:
Date that you must leave the trip:

Probably best not to apply at this point because we've got a couple of people in mind already (see above).

Photos: from Travels with Samantha, which I wrote during a 1993 driving trip from Boston to Alaska.

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