Jen Contreras |Assistant Manager Denali Wakefield
What do you do when you’re not at Denali?
More work! But they feel like hobbies and I truly enjoy them. I work at Roger Williams Park Zoo in the education department. It’s wild. In the winter I’m a ski instructor and during the warmer months, I’m a rowing coach. But when there’s truly no work to be done, I love spending random days off trying road trip up to anywhere within reach. And if I’m a homebody you can find me with my two dogs or exploring Providence for concerts, brews, and late-night eats.
Where have you always wanted to visit?
Alaska. The wildlife and rugged environment have always seemed like a place to visit.
What’s your current Netflix show?
At the moment I don’t have much time to watch, but when the time clears up I love travel food shows. I can always watch Anthony Bourdain and Dave Chang travel, eat and explore.
What’s your favorite outdoor activity?
Totally dependent on the season! As a kid, I got fed up getting sand in places I wish it wouldn’t be. Not a problem in the winter so skiing became my main way to get outside. But going to university for an outdoor sport (crew) learned to appreciate the coast (and sand) so now I’m really into SUP and kayaking around Narragansett.
What’s one of your favorite movies?
As we just had the Olympics, I love the movie Miracle on the 1980 US Men’s Hockey Team.
What’s your most memorable trip?
I spent time in New Orleans working with rhinos and giraffes at the Audubon Zoo. I learned I REALLY hate heat and humidity. But I did realize how good brass band music is, its crawfish not crayfish, and southern hospitality is a real thing.
What’s your next outdoor adventure?
This spring I’m planning to travel out to Colorado and Washington to go skiing and hiking West of the Mississippi. I’m an “Ice Coast” fan but time for a few new mountain faces.