The Kenai River Canyon just before entering Skilak Lake on the Kenai Peninsula.

Alaska Personal Journeys

Joe Jacob
Owner & Guide

Found on the cliff and beaches of Clam Gulch, Alaska, Joe spends part of his year in the Lower 48. He approaches Alaska as a marine biologist and conservationist. During his two-decade career with The Nature Conservancy, Joe served as director of science for the Southeastern United States and spent two years working with the Conservancy's Alaska office, State of Alaska and University of Alaska to identify and protect Alaska's most biologically and ecologically significant land.

As a marine biologist, Joe has a strong background in aquatic ecology. He has worked as researcher in a marine lab and taught at both the high school and university levels. He also is trained in first aid and is a certified canoe and kayak instructor.

For 14 years, Joe owned and directed another paddlesports business, recently selling that operation to spend more time helping others discover the land he loves most. He spends much of the year on top of a 200-foot bluff in Clam Gulch that overlooks Cook Inlet. Across the inlet stand three 10,000-foot volcanoes, smaller mountains and stunning glaciers.

"I am incredibly lucky to have good health, great friends and business associates, and a loving family," Joe says. "Who could ask for anything more?"

Ken Dawson

For more than two decades, Ken’s primary occupation has been developing and operating a small, organic vegetable and cut flower farm in North Carolina. Besides farming, his passion is hiking and paddling, exploring North America’s wild places, and organizing trips for others to experience what he enjoys so much.

Ken made his first trip to Alaska — with Joe Jacob in 1999 — and just as Joe predicted, has never come all the way home. The following year he turned operation of the farm over to a long time employee, and took a year long sabbatical, making an 18,000-mile road trip to Alaska and back. With canoe, backpack and fishing rod, Ken spent the summer months traveling around the north country, hosting several groups of friends and family who came north to share the adventure. Hiking alone through the snows and fall colors of September in Denali, his thoughts turned to opportunities to return and bring others to share the wonder. He knew he would be back again and again.

"My experience of the vast, wild beauty of the North lives in me in a way that transcends place," says Ken "The inner landscape of one farm boy from North Carolina is changed forever."

Copyright © 2003-10 by Alaska Personal Journeys • P.O. Box 76 • Clam Gulch, AK 99568-0076