|Tuesday, June 10, 2008 Petersburg, Alaska
What a gorgeous spot this is! We took off this morning to see as much Mitkof island as we could…and I think we have see most all the roads on it. We made several stops to look at all our eyes could possibly see. The first place was called Blind River Rapids which is on the Blind River. We walked out about ¼ mile on a boardwalk over some marshy ground to the river. Chuck was setting up the camera on a little tripod (truly a pocket size) and I was getting into the right position along the boardwalk. I was just looking all around and happened to look up into the cedar tree above me and you will never guess what was up there!?? Go ahead and take a guess. It was the most majestic bald eagle just sitting on this limb looking out and all around. I thought for sure he would fly away because of my sheer excitement, but he just sat turning his head all around…almost like an owl. It was INCREDIBLE! I mean this wonderful bird just right there. After that, the rapids took a back seat in the awesome wonders department. The tide was out so the rapids were not very rapid, but they were quite beautiful in this magnificent setting of open valley and mountains all around…and a bald eagle just sitting in this tree looking over his surroundings. He must have been waiting for the salmon to begin their run (next week we are told). We met some really nice folks there…a couple from Alabama (Dewayne and Janice) who are full time RV’ers. They were on our ferry yesterday. Then there was a man probably our age with 2 granddaughters just out to see the sights and play in the water. The little girls had on tank tops and I was in a fleece jacket with a wool scarf around my neck and gloves on. They live there and when we pointed out the eagle, one of the girls said ,”oh, we see them all the time”…not a big deal, but as we walked back, she was fascinated about seeing an ant on the boardwalk! Which is the bigger deal…a bald eagle or an ant? It is amazing the things we each take for granted because they become so commonplace to us. My vote goes to the bald eagle!!!!
The next stop off was called the Swan Lake Observatory. It was a short walk, again on a boardwalk to a viewing blind so one could observe the migrating birds. There was another bald eagle on a rock in the water there. But, the really cool thing about this was that it was built to observe Trumpeter Swans. Guess what book I have just re-read a couple of weeks ago? It was one I first read with Joanne when she was in 2nd grade. It is E.B. White’s “The Trumpet of the Swan” . Now how cool is that? Unfortunately we did not see any swans…I believe they migrated on in April.
We did stop at a couple more places of beauty that reminded me of the Olympic Penninsula when we camped with my sister and her husband when Joanne and my nephew, Kevin, were only less that a year old. Just indescribable beauty.
Our main “trip” was called the Three Lakes Loop Road…21 miles of WOW. The first lake is called Crane Lake. These three lakes are used by the Sandhill Cranes as a resting spot during their migration…we missed them by a couple of weeks. Well, we stopped at Crane Lake and decided to do the walk along this boardwalk…only two boards wide and up across a marshy open space. There was NO ONE else around and I was ready to quit because I just knew there were bears who were hungry. Chuck just kept saying…up to the next turn. Well, ½ mile later and up and down and several more turns…all on a boardwalk…we reached the lake. It was utterly still and like glass. There was a picnic table and a boat dock with an aluminum rowboat pulled up on it. We had read that at each of these 3 lakes there was a boat there for the public’s use. So…my beloved shoved it down and told me to sit and he rowed out around a bend and it was amazingly beautiful. All we needed was a parasol and a violin and a little romantic poetry. We settled for row, row you boat and soon were pulling the boat back up to its place. The walk back was much faster and I said a prayer of great thanks that we were alive!
One other stop we made was to look across the river to the LeConte Glacier. The water on the other side of the river was that glacial turquoise and filled with chunks of ice from the glacier. It was amazing.
Before too much longer we were back in Petersburg. We decided to try to get some fresh fish…salmon or halibut or rockfish for dinner. We were told where to go so we purchased a pound of Rockfish. We even got to see the man fillet it as it had just been caught probably not more that 2 hours before. Oh…it was fresh and so good on the grill. We also purchased some smoked salmon…just a piece that had his find attached. This is the fin that is on his/her underbelly. Supposedly that particular area of a salmon has more Omega3 Fatty Acids than any other fish or part of the salmon. It was oh, so tasty. So dinner was amazing.
Now that I have bored you into a deep snore, I will say so long. We sadly leave Petersburg tomorrow afternoon on the 4pm ferry for Juneau…arriving around 11pm and then it will be an early morning ferry to Sitka. We will leave the trailer and truck at the campground and travel on the ‘fast ferry” to Sitka where we will stay in a B&B for 2 nights before returning to Juneau. Don’t know if we will even take the computers on this next leg, but I will keep a written journal of all our sights and adventures. This is an amazing state of wild beauty and amazing wonders of God’s creation!