|Monday, June 9, 2008 Wrangell to Petersburg, Alaska via the ferry
We were up and at ‘em by 4:30 am with the daylight and some patches of blue sly and sunshine…all at that time of the day! The ferry system is incredibly efficient and so far we have been please with on time departures. The ferry left at 6:30am and took the most gorgeous route imaginable. We were blessed with blue skies all the way on our 3 hour journey here to Petersburg. The ferry departed from Wraangell and about an hour into the trip, we took a right turn into what is called the Wrangell Narrows. The channel is not very deep…I think only about 5 feet below the bottom of the ship…and very narrow so the channel markers are very close together with red ones on the right and green on the left. In addition, there is a ferryman who stands up on the bow with close access to a large bell and an emergency anchor dropper thing –e- me bob…just in case he spots something floating in the water or some obstruction that would not be a good thing to run into. Because of the narrow-ness of the waterway, the shore lines were very visible and incredibly beautiful. The high clouds and the snow capped mountains were absolutely beyond description. We did see a seal and some eagles. It was just spectacular…the way I imagined Alaska to be. Oh, the sunshine makes an enomous difference.
We met another really nice couple from Hershey, Pa. who were camped right next to us the past couple of nights in Wrangell. They are on the exact journey we are with just some time differences in their travels. Both are retired, are sailors, are travelers, and just very nice. Rick battled pneumonia before arriving at Prince Rupert and wound up in the emergency room en route. Hooray for drugs! Ronnie is a jewelry maker and does some stunning sterling and beads/rocks creations judging by what she had on. We will be on the next ferry leg together on Wednesday as we head on to Juneau. They are camping farther down the road from where we are now.
We are staying at a beautiful campground (in the truest sense of the word) about 10 miles south of town. It is called Trees RV Park and it really is in trees with trees separating each site. Just after we pulled in to our site (with the greatest of ease and expertise of my beloved) a motorhome pulls into the one next to us. It is a couple we met at Burns Lake, B.C. on Thursdaay… or was it Wednesday? It is a small world. They are planning to be in Alaska all summer. Bob has a son who lives here in Petersburg…on the other sitde of our site!...he works on the fishing fleets. Such interesting people in this world. There is life outside my little world of Lone Tree and my family and ciricle of friends.
We are en route into town now to get the propane tank filled. No wonder it was cold in the trailer this morning! We had totally run OUT. We will take a walk around town and see a few of the sights and maybe find a grocery to get some fresh veggies – or maybe not. We will just see what there is that will go with our spaghetti for dinner tonight. We will also find a coffee shop that has an open internet connection so we can do some posting and email stuff. So, even though the day is not over at 1pm, I will call this day’s journal complete and let you know tomorrow if we did anything spectacularly wonderful before we call it a day. Love to each one of you. Oh, how I love the sunshine and it’s warmth!
From Chuck....The north end of Mitkof Island was a summer fish camp utilized by Kake Tlingits from Kupreanof Island. Remnants of fish traps and some petroglyphs have been carbon-dated back some 2,000 years. Alaskan Natives began living year-round at the site, including Chief John Lot. Petersburg was named after Peter Buschmann, a Norwegian immigrant who arrived in the late 1890s and homesteaded on the north end of the island. He built a cannery (thanks to the plentiful number of icebergs from the nearby LeConte Glacier which would provide a source for cooling fish), a sawmill, and a dock between 1890 and 1900. His family's homesteads grew into Petersburg which, by 1910 was incorporated and was populated largely by people of Scandinavian origin thus giving Petersburg the nickname "Little Norway". May 17 (Norwegian Constitution Day) is celebrated annually in Petersburg on the third weekend in May. The cannery, along with three others have operated continuously since their completion. Petersburg is one of Alaska's major fishing communities.