It’s been a while since our last post. It seems that each day has its fill of activity, and oftentimes the day doesn’t include enough hours to sit and write. There’s also the off-the-grid factor. Even if we do write, we are in places where there is little or no cell coverage, so we can’t post to the blog. It’s a problem that we actually enjoy. The immediate access of cell phones can start to rule our lives if we aren’t mindful.
We had a few wonderful days with dear friends from California. We took them to Misty Fiords, the land of waterfalls, mountain grandeur and bears. It did not disappoint, and we were glad to visit there again.
After their departure, we had an adventure that no visit to Alaska is complete without: We took a chartered fishing trip. Being inexperienced city kids, we thought we’d see what fishing is all about, and whether or not we’d like to invest in equipment of our own for the boat. I was a bit concerned that I would get seasick and ruin the trip for everyone. But as my son tells me, I have gained my sea legs, and I had no problem being out in the rolling sea and fresh air. We caught salmon – lots of them. What beautiful fish they are! Our freezer is stocked, and though I’ve never been a salmon lover, I find that they taste wonderful when they are fresh and you’ve caught them yourself. I can’t wait to catch some halibut!
We decided it was time to head north in earnest, or we would never get further than the Ketchikan area. We stayed in a lovely secluded cove named Meyers Chuck, where there are a few vacation cabins, but only about 5 residents who stay year-round. One of these residents is a post-mistress of many talents. She delivers the mail, but she will also get in her dinghy and deliver hot homemade cinnamon rolls to your boat in the morning, if you call her the night prior. It was worth falling off the diet for this special treat!
We journeyed on to Wrangell, a small frontier town, where the grocery store was a mile from the dock. And the walk back from the grocery store, loaded down with provisions, was about 10 miles. Two things about Wrangell stand out in my mind. First, the only way to boat from Wrangell to the next town north, is by way of Wrangell Narrows – a shallow, narrow, twisting waterway, filled with strong currents and treacherous rocks. You have to time your passage to go at slack current (between flood and ebb tides) so that your boat doesn’t get pushed off course into the rocks. You also have to share the narrow passageway with other boats, who may be faster and want to pass you (think Indianapolis Raceway), leaving you wallowing in their massive wake waves. It can be exciting!
The second thing we noticed at Wrangell, is the ravens. At home we have crows. Their call is a dependable “Caw, caw!” But the ravens here seem to live in a perpetual state of alarm. Their call is a panic filled, “AAAH! AAAH!” Now these birds are not small. They are as big as any eagle around. But they fly around and sit around seemingly wringing their talons and filling the air with doom. “AAAH! I’m dyin’ here!” We’ve had lots of laughs at the ravens’ problems du jour. It teaches us to not take our own problems too seriously.
It’s hard to describe just how vast Alaska is. The distances between stopping points can be quite spread out. The mountains here are as impressive as the Sierras in the Bishop area, where I grew up. Maybe these are even more impressive, when judged by the sheer quantity of magnificent, craggy peaks. We pass by them so casually every day, but wow, are they ever amazing!
We are hoping to get as far north as Glacier Bay before we have to turn south for the homeward trek. We want a closer look at a glacier, and we definitely need a more close up picture to share with you. Stay tuned…