First Week at Renfros Lakeside Retreat

As I mentioned last time, we arrived at our Alaskan home early afternoon, and was greeted by our host and boss, Gary.  He showed us which site would be our summer home, and Bill got the rig parked in no time.   Callie was happy to be out of her crate and have the new view to enjoy! Speaking of new view – here’s what we see out our front door!

Gary had actually called us the day before, while we were in Sam’s Club, to ask if we knew what time we would be arriving, as our co-workers, Bob & Marna, wanted to make dinner for our arrival.  We told him early afternoon and expressed our gratitude.   What a sweet gesture!  

Initial hello’s and a dinner time decided on, we finished our setting up.  It is great to set up for longer stays, as we get out our big comfy zero-gravity chairs and I hang my chimes and put out my garden flag.  For shorter stays, we don’t usually get all that out.  Inside, I won’t unroll all the area rugs (just the large living room one) unless we are staying awhile, as it just makes packing up take longer.  I gave the whole rig a quick wipe down, it gets dusty quickly, especially when traveling over dusty roads.  It gets in everywhere!   

While we are here, I want to go around the whole place and eventually empty each cabinet and closet and purge unused/unwanted items, and just wash them on the inside.  The whole place needs a deep cleaning top to bottom, inside and out, as does the truck.  Copper and Queenie need baths BIG TIME!

Gary gave us the tour of the property later in the afternoon.   He showed us the cabins and we got our first peak at the lake – well, from Renfros anyway, as we had followed it along our ride down from Anchorage for quite a ways.  It is beautiful!  The whole property is very rustic and natural, but on the inside, the cabins are modern and have all needed amenities, including full kitchens and necessary pots, pans and utensils, plates, cups, etc. for making complete meals.  There are Kuerig machines in each cabin and coffee, tea, cappachino and hot chocolate are supplied. Have I mentioned they are spotless?  Standards are high here at Renfros, which I appreciate!  It’s the kind of place I would totally stay at!

Five of the 8 cabins are lake front, and recently (this past winter) remodeled, the remaining 3 are in a wooded setting.  He has pedal boats and kayaks for his guests to use, a small laundry room, and a bathroom and shower room for guests staying in the RV Park.  The lodge will also soon have a full kitchen for guests to use. 

Here is a photo tour of the property:

just past the Victor Creek bridge, you see this sign on the right
the lodge, on the left when you pull into the driveway, this is where guests check-in
the first rig belongs to Bob & Marna, our co-workers, they are in site 1, you also see us, we are in site 6, beyond us there are 4 more sites, W/E only
just past site 10, you see this building, where the bathroom, shower room and guest laundry can be found

the picnic area has a table and fire ring with a view of the lake and mountains; there are also kayaks and pedal boats for guest use
play equipment for the kids
bench complete with cup holders for parents to watch kids play
one of the lakeside cabins – all 5 are the same
view from the porch
firepit area right on the lake
cute way of asking guests not to wear their shoes in the cabins
this is how the table is set – right in front of the huge picture window
spiral staircase up to the loft with queen bed
new kitchen
queen bed in loft – when sitting up you have a view of the lake and mountain from the huge upper picture window
the futon folds down to a full size bed and theres a twin up top

Gary lives upstairs in the lodge with his 3 kitties; we’ve only met one, Mr. Kitty, so far.  He is a HUGE black fluff ball with the greenest eyes I’ve ever seen, and is a bit shy with newcomers, although he is warming up to us!

Dinner had been set for 6 and we walked up a few minutes early.  Gary had gotten a couple bottles of wine and we enjoyed a delicious meal of salad and chicken pasta while getting to know one another!  Then the dessert!  A homemade blueberry cheesecake!  Yummy!  Thanks again, Gary, Bob and Marna for a wonderful welcome and dinner!  

very pretty table!

We hung around the whole next day, not leaving the CG at all.  I used the lodge laundry facilities to FINALLY get laundry caught up! I hadn’t done laundry since Seattle and we were just about down to empty drawers!  He has HUGE front loader machines that he uses for the cabin sheets, towels, etc and they are awesome!  

The next day we decided to go check out Seward, which is about 20 miles south of us.  It is an easy and beautiful ride!  The town itself is very nice and we passed the local Safeway at the edge of town.  Bill needed a few things from the Ace Hardware to fix a basement door that had broken.  He easily found what he needed while I checked out the rest of the items offered for sale.  They certainly have a little bit of everything, I’m sure we will be back many times.  

We walked around the waterfront area for a little while, gathering information on local things to do.  There is fjord and wildlife cruises, dog sledding, white water rafting, and much more.  There is also a bunch of restaurants to choose from.   I’m hoping to get a recommendation for a good hair stylist, as I need a haircut BAD!  

We stopped the Safeway on the way back home, and picked up a few things.  I know we just went in Anchorage, but we wrote up a menu for our first working week (after Bill did an inventory of EVERYTHING in the freezer!) and we needed a couple things.   Prices were definitely higher than in Anchorage, so I’m glad we got most of what we needed there.  I’m sure we will be heading back that way when we need a bigger order, although I’ve heard Girdwood and even Soldotna have better prices.  We will check it out.  

So far we have worked 3 days here at Renfros.  Gary has been working along side of us, getting us used to how he wants things done in the cabins.  He leaves a book in each cabin for guests to leave comments and I love reading them! Most comments include how peaceful and beautiful it is here, and how they can’t wait to return!  Gary says occasionally they will say something isn’t working right and he will know to fix it, we haven’t seen that yet.  We also occasionally get tips, which go in a jar in the lodge and split between us and Bob & Marna at the end of the season; last year each couple got about $130! 

Our first week here ended with an awesome Kenai Fjords National Park Tour!  I woke up that morning once again thinking I need to pinch myself – yes, Kelly – this is your LIFE!

The 5 of us were on our way by 7:00am, leaving more than enough time to arrive for our 7:40 embark time and 8am leave the dock time.   It was a chilly 56 degrees!  Brrrr!  We wore longer sleeves and fleece jackets and packed our rain gear in my purcreggae cloth backpack.  I took my Meclizine right as we were backing out of the driveway.  Bob made a good point, these seas up here in AK can be larger and rougher than we are used to – I felt it was better to be safe rather than sorry.  

I’ll (mostly) shut up now and let the pics tell the rest!

Bob and Marna – our co-workers
Bill and I with Gary on the shuttle from the parking area to the dock area; I wore that dorky smile all day!

as my photographer friend, Steven, would say, clouds can make a pic very dramatic

it isnt very clear but that is an otter – he/she was not interested in posing for my pic!

we didnt get close up to this one – but thats a glacier over there!

Holgate Glacier

check out the bottom left corner of the glacier – compare to the next pic
if you look at the same spot – you can see some ice has broken off and is falling into the sea – calving
ok – this is not easy to see – but there is a Mountain Goat and its kid (look for the white dots) near the top of the 3 lines on the rock face above the 3 white’ish lines – I know – I need a better camera for these kinds of pics!
Bill says this ones for you, Greg! Glacier ice fresh picked out of the water!
the captain told us that last year that spot of rock in the middle of the ice was covered with ice
the glacier in the above pic is now out of site on the left – captain said the one on the right and one on the left used to join together before the waters edge – back when he first cruised these waters back in 1993
ok – I swear there really is a Humpback whale in this pic – and a glacier!
can see him/her a bit better here – but was really far off – captain said it wasnt really a good viewing area b/c the seas were rough coming around the cape, so we didn’t stay

I tried as best I could, but this is the best pic with puffins I could get – they are small and fast!
again, best pic I could get of this family of otters, a Mom, a Dad and a baby! so cute!

Our cruise complete, we looked around the gift shop for a few minutes before heading home.  It was an amazing, exhilarating, exciting, awesome day!  The views and wildlife, as the pics show (and the pics don’t do full justice), are breathtaking!  A thousand thank you’s to Gary doesn’t seem like quite enough – so I’ll say it one more time – THANK YOU!

We were home by 3pm, and while I haven’t asked, I’d say it’s a safe bet that everyone took a nap – I know Bill and I did!  

What an amazing end to our first week at Renfros!

14 thoughts on “First Week at Renfros Lakeside Retreat

    1. The lakeside cabins are especially nice – insides are all new this past winter! And thanks – I think we will have a great summer too!

    1. Thanks Beth! We are camp hosting, and cleaning cabins. We will be here the whole summer – will pull out Oct 1.

  1. Looks like you guys got yourselves a good gig for the summer! The cabins look great, can’t wait for a tour.

    1. Thanks Tracy! Hope we get to give you a personal tour before the summers over! I almost put the ice pic on FB – but we had no signal out there and I forgot later – I like saving a few for the blog anyway!

  2. I’m so glad you got to do the cruise…it was one of our favorite parts of the Alaskan experience!

    On Fri, Jun 3, 2016 at 11:59 PM, bkamericanodyssey wrote:

    > jrzygrl64 posted: “As I mentioned last time, we arrived at our Alaskan > home early afternoon, and was greeted by our host and boss, Gary. He > showed us which site would be our summer home, and Bill got the rig parked > in no time. Callie was happy to be out of her ” >

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