The Kenai Peninsula comes alive during summer. Tourists, fishermen, seasonal workers and year-round residents share highways and harbors from Homer to Seward. ADN's Tegan Hanlon and Marc Lester recently spent a week meeting some of the people who make the Peninsula unique. Here are some of their stories.
SEWARD — Samantha Insalaco wore a pink helmet as she drove her dad's electric scooter through the gravel pathways in the busy campground here. A bundle of firewood was balanced behind her. A sign taped to her scooter read: "WOOD $5."
Some kids earn money mowing grass or walking dogs or washing cars in the summer. Insalaco delivers firewood to her temporary neighbors — the hundreds of campers who show up across the street with their tents, their RVs and, most importantly to Insalaco, their campfires.
"It's definitely more fun than it is work," said the 11-year-old salesperson. "I could go on all night if I had the time and if I had the battery."
Insalaco's older brothers started the firewood delivery business this year after getting both a state and city business license. The brothers chop up trees cleared from the family's nearby property. Then Insalaco cruises around for a few hours helping them sell the bundles. She gets a cut of the profits. A day before, she made $70, she said.
When not selling firewood, she sometimes sets up a lemonade stand in front of her house. She sells muffins and hand-painted rocks. She'll also play her instruments, trading between the ukulele, guitar and violin.
A portion of the money she earns goes into her college fund. The rest goes into a bank account that will be tied to the debit card she's allowed to get when she turns 12.