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John Gaedeke

John Gaedeke was interviewed on May 6, 2004 by Bill Schneider at Rasmuson Library at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. John and his mother, Pat, run Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge in the Brooks Range. John talked about growing up at the lake and the lodge's evolution from guiding hunters to guiding eco-tourists. He spoke about what it takes to maintain, supply and outfit the lodge, and cater to the clients who visit. He also talked about how people adjust to living or staying in the wilderness and the activities they prefer. John is a professional photographer and some of his photos accompany this recording.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2002-27-16

Project: Gates of the Arctic National Park
Date of Interview: May 6, 2004
Narrator(s): John Gaedeke
Interviewer(s): Bill Schneider
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.

After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.


1) John's personal background, and how his family got started in the lodge business

2) Lodge lifestyle, atmosphere, and setting

3) Preparations for a summer season at the Lodge

4) Clients adjusting to remote living and the Lodge's atmosphere

5) Skills needed for maintaining and expanding a wilderness lodge

6)Talking about his photography and describing the photographs in his slideshow

7) Having a sense of place

Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.

After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.


Section 1: birthplace -- Fairbanks, Alaska\ summers -- Brooks Range\ business -- hunting\ business -- eco-tourism\ education\ hunters -- European \ Austrian\ German\ French\ business -- change in\ hunting\ tourism\ tourist activities -- photography, hiking, canoeing\ parents\ father -- origin\ East Prussia\ father -- immigratation 1950-1952\ Washington\ outdoorsman\ junior college -- graduated from\ Alaska -- arrival in 1960\ University of Alaska\ work -- guide\ work -- Trans-Alaska Pipeline\ Master Guide\ Waugh, Hal\ property -- hunting lodge\ people -- influx of\ visitors -- number of\ lodge -- upgrade\ solar power\ father -- death of/ accident -- airplane crash\ hunting contract\ eco-tourism -- start of\ meat -- barter\ lifestyle -- pressures of\ lifestyle -- winters off\ lodge -- notoriety\ clients -- word of mouth\ lodge -- expanding facilities\ Fairbanks, Alaska\ Brooks Range lifestyle -- comparison of|

Section 2: clientele -- type of\ clients -- upscale\ reclusive\ activities -- canoes, fishing\ wilderness lodge\ day trips\ flying -- Brooks Range\ North Slope\ Continental Divide\ Anaktuvuk Pass\ lifestyle -- residents\ pilots -- contract\ Bettles\ Brooks Range Aviation\ Alatna River\ day hike\ cabin\ caribou migration\ wolves\ musk ox|

Section 3: preparations -- spring\ preparations -- schedule\ logistics\ food planning\ employees\ management\ food -- non-perishable\ supplies -- organization of\ supplies -- flying in\ groceries\ building maintenance\ solar power\ snow -- shoveling\ season -- break-up\ water well\ back-up generator\ food -- preparation\ kitchen\ lifestyle -- isolation\ television\ radio\ people -- conversation\ ethics -- environmental\ people -- number of\ conflict\ guests -- limited\ lodge -- familial atmosphere|

Section 4: clients -- mood\ clients -- energy level\ tourist -- density of\ lifestyle -- contrast\ wilderness vs. city\ atmosphere -- relaxed\ clients -- adjustment\ lifestyle -- city\ lifestyle -- wilderness\ decompression\ geographic location -- differences in\ experience -- unique clients -- age range\ clients -- meet special needs|

Section 5: lodge -- building\ lodge -- maintaining\ carpentry\ electrical skills\ plumbing\ building -- improvement\ inclination -- build more\ self-sufficiency\ multiple skills\ schedule\ mother nature\ live within surrounding\ environment -- uncontrolled\ business extension -- winter tourism\ cross-country skiing\ northern lights\ snow-shoeing\ amenities -- difference in\ seasons|

Section 6: Waugh, Hal\ Waugh, Julie\ remote area\ cabin -- plywood\ lifestyle -- harsh conditions\ lifestyle -- contrasts\old-timers\ modern\ photographs -- descriptions of\ panorama\ Iniakuk Lake\ season\ snow\ Arrigetch Peaks\ trumpeter swans\ Continental Divide -- Brooks Range\ Alatna River\ Nigu River\ Killik River\ tundra\ caribou\ lakes\ Bettles\ landing strip -- dirt\ river\ residents -- local\ airplane -- air taxi\ canoeing\ Iniakuk Lake\ lake -- reflection\ Lodge -- interior\ cooking -- mother\ client -- itinerary\ fish -- king salmon\ fish -- trophy\ fish -- northern pike, arctic char, lake trout, grayling\ fishing -- fly fishing\ lodge -- location\ snow -- summer\ lawn\ solar power\ running water\ sunlight\ trees -- black spruce\ weather -- dry\ flower pots\ mountains -- names of\ Iniakuk Lake -- name\ guide\ mosquitoes\ tree line\ cabin -- checking\ cabin -- northern lights\ lake ice -- melting\ midnight sun|

Section 7: hunting lodge -- eco-tourism\ lodge -- change of operation\ clientele\ marketing\ conflict -- hunters, eco-tourists\ wilderness\ game\ stress\ pressure -- hunting\ hunting -- success\ hunting areas -- shrinkage\ hunting areas -- encroachments\ National Park Service\ philosophy -- anti-government\ Park management -- pros and cons\ opinions\ resources|