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Wall tent before kitchen PALH.heic



On their very first date at a small-town restaurant in Wasilla, Alaska, Randy and Lia dreamed of opening a remote lodge in Prince William Sound.


Years of work experience in various positions in the hospitality industry inspired Lia to open a coastal, remote B&B. Randy, influenced by his background in the commercial fishing industry, envisioned opening a set-netters camp in Bristol Bay. 

Over time, their wild dream came into focus.


Trying to turn their dream into a reality, they first bought property on Latouche Island, sight unseen. When they boated out to see their new purchase, there was nowhere safe to anchor a dock or establish a harbor. The beach was muddy and dead. Carrying supplies up the beach was time-consuming and exhausting. 

It wasn't right.

This didn't deter the Talvi's from trying again. They sold the Latouche property and started to hunt for another piece of land that would fit their revised checklist of requirements. Finally, they found the perfect spot, a short boat ride away, and only two islands over. 

On Evans Island, Port Ashton was listed for sale. The price was high, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Lucky enough, Randy's brother, Russand his wife, Paige, wanted to invest. 


Wall tent with clothesline and kitchen PALH.heic

In 2004, the Talvi families and friends bought Port Ashton and started clearing trails. They cut down the thick, temperate rainforest brush by hand the first summer and lived out of the Faith, a commercial fishing vessel they had purchased. To rinse off a hard day's work, they had to bathe in the ocean. 


During the second summer, Lia and Randy built a wall tent to live out of with their three young kids, aged 5, 7, and 8. Meals were prepared in an outdoor kitchen. Sometimes, the bears would interrupt pancake breakfasts. All supplies were transported to the lodge by boat. The Faith sat low in the water on every trip back from town, weighed down by food, construction materials, and necessities.

With the help of a small crew of family friends (the Cummings, Bartelli, and Oliveira families), three cabins were finished by the end of the summer of 2005.

Wall tent on beach PALH.heic


Log delivery stacked on beach, shorted PALH.heic
Peeling logs PALH.heic
Cabin tarped while under construction PALH.heic
Randy and .... constructing roof PALH.heic


Over the years, many improvements and changes have been made. All of the cabins have been undergone renovations, floating house rentals have come and gone, and new buildings have been constructed.


True to the nature of island living, every item that has been shipped to the lodge has been used, reused, and repurposed in multiple ways. For example, the deck around the hot tub was originally the foundation of the wall tent the Talvi family lived in while the cabins were being built. The hot tub was transported to the island on the back deck of the Faith. To get it to its current location, it was pushed overboard, floated to shore, and rolled up the beach by hand.


After the cabins were built, the wall tent frame was moved 100 feet uphill by Randy, Lia, and Paige. Paige was in disbelief that the 12x14 structure could be moved by the three of them, but Randy had a plan. They pushed the wall tent onto rows of round logs and slowly rolled the platform foot by foot to its final resting place, where it was transformed into the pantry. It was raining that day, in true rainforest fashion.

The implementation of technology has made Alaskan island living a little easier (an electric water pump fills the water tanks and solar panels help generate 24-hour power), but living remote in Prince William Sound still requires resilience, hard work, and the ability to MacGuyver your way around a challenge. 

And the Talvi family loves the challenge. 



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