Beyond Boundries: Alaska


One Family Business, Fighting to Survive Against the Frozen North

For any nature-lover, this trip is a dream come true – but for those who live and work here, each day is a struggle.
Warm Springs Bay, Alaska is home to the Baranof Wilderness Lodge – a prime destination for adventurers and thrill seekers. Each week, float planes bring new clients to the lodge for a full week of fishing, exploration, and excitement. The owners, Mike and Sally Trotter, have struggled for years to show their guests the Alaska they know and love, but with a bad economy and smaller numbers of reservations, they struggle to keep open this family business.
The Alaskan wilderness doesn’t come without its dangers – hiking and camping trips can go bad if the weather takes a sudden turn, forcing guides to decide whether to flee or freeze. Brown bear sightings, while magical for some, can turn into maulings. With the nearest hospital four-hours away, the only way to transport injured or sick guests is by helicopter.
The competitive guides’ constant bickering and fighting creates tension for customers and sometimes causes the lodge to lose business. Equipment failures and repairs plague the lodge, and the cost of maintaining and repairing equipment is a constant threat to the success of the business.
Each week brings a new set of adventure-seekers to the lodge, each one with the potential to become a natural wonder – or a natural disaster.