forty days. forty stories.
Don and Tina aren’t just the founders and owners of the adventure tourism company Exposure Alaska, they form the center of the family. With twenty to twenty-five guides sharing communal living arrangements, the off-the-grid lifestyle, and the insular superiority complex of the guide culture, it’s something like a cult that makes a profit.
Don’s vision and entrepreneurial drive has seen the enterprise expand into three sister companies that provide opportunities for things like ice-climbing, jet-boating, zip-lines (and soon to dominate the Glenn Highway espresso market). Tina’s eye for the details holds the whole thing together, but she’s also the human center of things in a sometimes stressful environment: she’s got that perfect knack for knowing when somebody just needs a hug (or sometimes a kick in the butt).
Don and Tina first met Joolee in their off-season gig at McMurdo Station in 2000 where they were next-door neighbors in the dorm known as Hotel California. Despite that, they hired her few years later when Bill and Joolee turned up with their resumes at Exposure (after Bill had bought a kayak to try to keep up with Joolee).
“There’s a reason we run an adventure company,” says Don. They try never to be too busy to shut the laptop and head out on a personal trip. In the past few years Joolee has been on trips (either with one or both of them) kayaking Alaska, backcountry skiing Colorado, and pack-rafting the Canyonlands of Utah.