Have you ever wondered how Alaska Rainbow Lodge gets our supplies? Being in a remote area of southwest Alaska, prepping a lodge for a season can be a challenge. Stocking up on four months of supplies is essential for lodge operations to go smoothly. Our number one priority here is to make sure that our guests experience the best fishing that Alaska has to offer and the barge plays a large part in this.
With no roads leading to the lodge, our transportation of choice is by Beaver Float Plane. Our six passenger planes transport guests all around the southwestern corner of Alaska for fishing. Although great for human transport and small cargo loads, these planes don’t have the capacity to fly in all of our supplies for the season. This is why every season a barge of our seasonal supplies is sent up the Kvichak River before the lodge opens.
Our aircraft can carry small loads of supplies when needed which means every one or two weeks a supply order of fresh produce can be flown in to the lodge. Any supplies that can be stored and held for long periods of time however are ordered during off season and taken up by barge. This includes: dry goods, Furniture, Alcohol, Propane, Fishing equipment, linens, and any other supplies that are good for long distance transport.
A lot of prep work goes into getting the barge up to the lodge. The process begins in January of every year. The team compiles a list of inventory from the previous season and adjusts the number forecast based on prospected occupancy of the lodge. Each vendor is reached out to and orders are placed to send to Seattle, Washington. In mid April, Chip (our owner) goes up to Seattle and oversees loading of our supplies into a container. This container is then loaded onto a large barge which travels for over a month to Alaska. Once this vessel reaches Naknek, our container is loaded onto a small barge which heads up the Kwichak river to the lodge. It’s a process, but the supplies arrive right on time before the season opener.
The barge arrived this season and it was all hands on deck to unload. All the propane had to be pumped out into our tanks along with the items loaded onto a 4×4 and transported up the hill to the lodge. The whole operation can took about six hours.
With the barge supplies unloaded and in place, Alaska Rainbow Lodge opened our doors for the 2018 season. The first week of guests arrived on Thursday and it’s already making out to be a great season.