I’m often asked about my Alaska Summer 2016, where I spent a few months working for The Silverking Lodge. When people ask why I moved to Alaska I tell them it was because I was going through a thirty life crisis. They usually chuckle and think I’m exaggerating. Usually, people follow up with, “How was it?” To which I always reply,” IT WAS SO HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”That summer was difficult because I was dealing with so many insecurities and struggles internally and I thought that moving hundreds of miles away would help me escape my issues. In talking about Alaska I often neglect to share all the wonderful things that I loved about my time in Ketchikan. I put together some pictures and reasons why this place is so unique. One thing for sure if you love to fish, and to eat some good old fashioned home cooking then Silver King Lodge is basically like you have died and gone to heaven.
Get this, Silverking used to be a floating lodge. In the eighties, it consisted of two cabins and a kitchen floating on the water. Later, they transported the cabins to the shore of Grant Island. This provided room for expansion. Now, there are six cabins and the main lodge. Silverking’s website states, “The Lodge is the longest operating self-guided Alaskan fishing lodge in all of Southeast Alaska.” You’ll hear more later on in the post about self-guided fishing but first let’s get to the other reasons Silverking is such a gem!
10. Pet Deer
Don’t be surprised if you observe deer prancing around, acting like they own the place. The deer have good reason to stick around considering they are fed leftovers from the many visitors. Not to mention their dynamic capacity to take kissing pictures with interested tourists. Look at these Instagram pictures from the guests.
9. Cozy Rooms
Serious fishermen and fisherwomen work harder on their vacation than most people do during the average work week. I was shocked to find people up before dawn (which in the early summer is before 4 A.M). These dedicated fishermen often did not even come in for lunch. No wonder after dinner the lodge is deserted. Most retreat to their cabins to relax from the efforts of the day, The cozy cabins offer a great recharge. Not only are they a warm haven from the cold rain but also each room is decorated with a different fishing theme. Check out additional pictures on Silver King’s Facebook.
8. Hendershot Trail
Silver King Lodge has a hidden gem behind the cabins. The largest known Red Cedar (located in the Tongas National Forest) is just a short .15 mile walk on the Hendershot Boardwalk. This tree is gigantic! To illustrate, you could have twenty people stand around it holding hands. E-nor-mous! This area was often my quiet sanctuary as I ran up and down the boardwalk.
7. Fishing 101
Monday nights are a special treat as Manager Jeremy Merrill instructs a fishing class for guests. Jeremy is an experienced fisherman who has worked in the industry for over 15 years. He knows his stuff, from the best bait to secret fishing spots close to the lodge. I loved watching guests thank Jeremy for his advice and show off their “catch of the day” pics.
6. Fish Processing
Reeling up fish is hard work! The biggest fish I ever caught was only about 15 pounds, but it felt like I was reeling in 150 pounds. OK maybe that’s an exaggeration but my arms hurt!! After a long day, it’s nice to leave the dirty work of processing to the staff at Silverking. They fillet, package, freeze, and box your fish. Your catch is the best souvenir of your time at Silverking.
5. The View
Isn’t this breathtaking? From the porch, you can often spot eagles, sea lions, otters, and whales in the water near the shore. I never got sick of being outside and seeing this stunning view.
4. The Staff
You can’t talk about Silverking with out mentioning the Crew. Its a small staff of seven people. Everyone wears a lot of hats working together to make the week perfect for the guests. This picture is of last years staff minus Logan. Those of you that are going back to Silverking Lodge this year will see a lot of familiar faces. Everyone pictured will be returning except for me and Miranda.
I pictured going to a Lodge on a tiny island to be similar to Fat Camp. I envisioned myself losing so much weight because the food would be terrible and it’s not like I could get fast food. I was about an hour boat ride away from town and I didn’t own a boat. Boy, was my image all wrong! Silverking Lodge is known for its tasty home cooking. I knew I was in trouble the minute I tasted Brad the Cooks dinner; It was delicious. Brad also wakes up at three in the morning to make fresh cookies and bread. His cookies are seriously amazing. No wonder the first thing returning guest do when they get to the Lodge is snag a few cookies. I could fill this whole post just talking about the food, but the point is you will never go hungry. Breakfast and Dinner are buffet style meals. Breakfast usually consists of eggs, bacon, and some main dish like pancakes, breakfast burritos, or waffles. Lunch always has a fresh soup to warm you from the Ketchikan Rain. Dinner consists of a salad bar and entrees. It’s hard to pick a favorite dinner item that Brad whips up because his mashed potatoes, pork roast, garlic bread, and salmon are all so good. In case you are still hungry after meal time guest have 24/7 access to chips, granola bars, pop tarts, and cold cereal, and the sandwich bar. Good thing only the fish are weighed at the end of the trip,
2. FLOAT PLANES
Those of you that were children in the 90’s you might remember the show Tale Spin. As a kid, I would watch Baloo the bear fly float planes. When I discovered Float Planes were the vehicle for transporting the guests every Monday, I was beyond stoked. The guests leave the airport and board one of these snazzy float planes for a fifteen-minute scenic ride to Silverking Lodge. A huge perk about Silverking is that it takes care of all your transportation to and from the Airport which make a hassle free start to your trip. Let’s be honest who fly’s to their hotel? You will definitely feel like a rock star arriving on a plane.
1.The Sea Feast
After I had accepted the job at Silverking, I was researching the Lodge on the World Wide Web. During my research, I came across a picture similar to the one above of the crab boil. I immediately Voxed my friend Jill exclaiming that the Lodge I was going to was a man cave. They just piled the food onto newspaper, and everyone went to town. I then got nervous wondering what kind of native place would I be working at that didn’t use plates or utensils.
This barbaric ritual soon became one of my highlights of the week. At Silverking you get to participate in Sea Feast Saturday. This particular meal is served on the patio(weather permitting). Festivities start with a scrumptious appetizer and then an Alaskan Crab Boil. Confession before Alaska I had never had real crab. I had imitation crap in dips, but I had never experienced the real thing. Just thinking about the SeaFeast is making me hungry. Those of you going to Siverking Lodge this summer eat extra crab for me!
So my purpose of this post is not to sell anything. I don’t make any money if anyone calls and makes a reservation and Silverking didn’t ask me to write this post. I just love this Lodge and I wanted to share what makes it so special. Even though last summer was super hard for me personally I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Silverking. I hate to admit it but I’m a little homesick for Ketchikan. I miss the late night talks with the staff. Being able to paddle board by sea lions and the fresh air. I love Silverking Lodge because of the people who own it and the staff that keeps it running. It is a family business which is why when you get off the plane you instantly feel like you are home. One of my favorite things to watch is how some weeks guest would start out as strangers and leave giving hugs and being life long friends.
If you want to learn about prices check out Silveking’s website or call (800)813-4363.
This video was created by Chelsea Homer(the guest that introduced me to podcasts) it give a great look into Ketchikan’s hidden gem.
Thank you to the owners of Silverking Bill & Susan, Kirk & Pam, and Don for letting me be a part of Silverking Lodge.
Thank you to Brad and Jeremy Merrill for putting up with a city going through her 30 life crisis. I miss you guys!