Alaska has a particular business that I've not seen anywhere else. Showers. A lot of Alaska's visitors are campers, and campers need a place to get a hot shower now and then. Cooper Landing has a little store that also has a laundry and showers.
I'd heard The Fisherman talk about Wildman's before and I suppose it was the name that made me think it was a rundown dirty place. Not so. I was pleasantly surprised to find it a clean and quaint little establishment. The store has your basic minimal stock of snacks, drinks, t-shirts, and miscellaneous items, but it also has ice cream (Dreyer's in a freezer and soft serve) and a little sandwich/pizza counter. The laundromat and shower area is clean and nice.
Showering facilities around Alaska vary but most of the ones we've been to show an effort to make them nice and comfortable. It seems every one has a different method of operation.
At the Soldotna Wash and Dry you pay $5 to the attendant and receive a towel, bathmat, washcloth, and mini bar of soap. You're allowed 20 minutes in the shower room, but no one has ever enforced it.
The Trapper Creek showers, north of Anchorage near Talkeetna, are coin operated. I've yet to figure out exactly how much they cost by the time I add quarters to keep it going just a little bit longer.
The showers in Seward are the worst. They're down at the marina and are like the shower room of a college dormitory. I can't even remember how you pay for those since we only went there once years ago.
At Wildman's in Cooper Landing, you purchase a $4.25 token from the store clerk. Once you put the token in the machine, the shower operates for about 8-10 minutes. The secret is to be fully prepared, hurry at first and then enjoy whatever leftover water you have coming.
I decided that since this public shower thing is such a unique part of our lives in Alaska, it's worth documenting. Here are the first photos of my Alaska Public Shower Series. (It will be a short series as I've already revealed the whole gamut of our shower encounters here.)
WILDMAN'S in COOPER LANDING, ALASKA
Not to bad, eh?
I put the bathmat up against the door so no one on the outside would see my camera flashing.
We bring our own towels. Mine is a nice soft beach towel. I don't mess around.
This is where Wildman's is, as I showed in an earlier post about Cooper Landing.