Friday, June 6, 2014

quick start to Ketchikan pictures....

 beautiful sunset the first night in Ketchikan.  got off fine and  had good flights...all of them.  was starving by the time i got to Ketchikan.  minimal service available on such short flights.  it's  over an hour from Anchorage to Juneau so peanuts and drink for that part...after that it's maybe 20+ minutes to petersburg from Juneau and a mere 8 min flight time between Petersburg and Wrangell and then under 30 to Ketchikan from there.
 that 8 min flight was fun, you barely go over 1000 feet so it feels more like you are in a float plane rather than a jet. of course, the run way in Wrangell is pretty dang short. on the way back we had to make a loop and drop fuel to drop weight.  guess the extra weight put us at risk of not being able to stop in time to make the runway.  scenic view while we drop fuel on the pristine wilderness seems a bit ironic but that runway really is tiny.
 i think you need extra training to be a pilot in the southeast.  just some tricky runways.
 this is Juneau.  had a pleasant ride down from Anchorage.  there was a crew on board from some Canadian show.  i think it was called, 'the daily planet".  one guy does segments and his segment has another title.  his name is something like Allen Nusall?  anyway.  he was sitting next to me and chatting about Alaska.  it was his first time up here and they were zipping from place to place.  fun to chat and he was pleasant to look at as well.
 then the rest of the flight i sat beside a nurse from Ketchikan and her doctor husband.  super nice and i remembered her husband from my time working there and her somewhat though we never actually worked together.  we had lots to talk about, many people in common from when i was there. super nice.  she wants a picture she saw on my ipad of a moose kneeling. i'll have to see what i can find...i have so many pictures.  haha.
 supposedly this plane is some very cool military plane.  made for super close combat i guess.  the guy was impressed to see it there.
 in between flights i checked up on my texts as the planning never really stops and  texting can be fun anyway..
 flights both ways were really amazing. sounds like we headed to the sunshine in southeast Alaska as the south central parts of Alaska got rain.  worked out perfect for me and it also was good for the fires up here.  smoke seems to have cleared. i should have taken a picture of the Ketchikan weather report which showed sunshine all week.
 our trip was great!! everything really worked out as planned.  will do details but we got dropped at hut point at the mouth of Walker Cove.  that night we just got in kayaks in our little bay as the water was choppy outside of it and i didn't want Janet to have to battle that and get her kayak practice in.
 the next day we paddled back into Walker Cove, great day, lunch, paddle turned to blue skies and calm waters overall.  on the way back there were a few areas with some chop, nothing horrible though. i think everyone was in awe at the waterfalls plunging from well over 1000 feet up.
 we were pretty anxious about the next days paddle which was a 14 mile paddle mostly on the bigger waters of the Behm Canal.  we woke early concerned for windy conditions.  that was how it looked like it was going to be but it soon calmed and we had a pretty sweet paddle down to Rudyerd Bay and specifically Punchbowl cove.  we took some breaks and enjoyed the day.
 that afternoon a few of us headed up the trail to Punchbowl Lake.  the trail is pretty worn down and sketchy in parts but totally worth the effort.  i got nervous in one portion where there had been a bit of a landslide.  you know how much i love heights.  Janet got me past it and we found the trail went a different way than what it had been looking like.  all was well.  i did lose my lens way i was chasing that thing down.
 great campfires each night.  tons of laughter.  we had great guides in Amanda and CJ.  they have paddled from Seattle area all the way up towards Glacier Bay and maybe Yakatat.  not sure...but after 3 months paddling they are great guides.  all of our personalities just went great together!!  so much fun!!
 we stayed one night in Punchbowl then we traveled back out into the Behm Canal and headed to Windstanley Island where i had a cabin rented.  there was one patch that worked us a bit.  choppy and soupy, maybe 1/2 mile or so.  took some effort but we all got through stellar.  i was never worried i'd tip over or anything like that, but it was a good work out.  i was in the boat with my friend Janet. she did a fabulous job paddling.  overall we had really good cadence.  that is Petersburg above.
 everyone else was in singles.  most of the paddlers out of Ketchikan are from the cruise ships and just do little day paddles.  i guess they don't get too many multi day requests so i think fun when they do and get to head out to Misty Fiords National Monument.  it was funny..Walker was very quiet. i think we head 2 planes fly over the entire time we were there.  the only boat we saw was the one that dropped us off.
 Rudyerd was a different story.  the float planes came regular during the time the criuse ships were in, a few boats came through as well, smaller tourist boats.  just like Ketchikan the cruise ships load up and move on so the noise stops at night.  there were a few boats in Punchbowl on the buoy there.  for sure not crowded, felt very remote.
 it was about 4 hours out and maybe 3 hours back.  we circled Revillagegedo Island.
 the first night i heard a few sprinkles fall on the tent but otherwise we had it perfect . it was almost too hot in some ways.  nobody complained.  i just kept dunking my rain hat in the water by the kayak and then putting it on my head to cool off.  worked great.
 below you can see Wrangell's tiny runway...not much to land on so you can't mess up.

 all was well at home when i returned.  i sure miss my puppies and kitties when i am gone. nice to get back home to them.
 thankfully i had tonight off to recovery.  house cleaning, laundry...the to do list...never ends.  liked the planes reflection on the water.
 we got delayed several times coming back.  Val hung in there and was able to pick me up. i'm forcing myself to stay up late tonight as i start back to work tomorrow night and i've been on camping time all week.
 i think below is the Wrangell Narrows.
 i had forgotten how much earlier it gets dark down in Ketchikan as compared to Anchorage. it was dark there by like 9:30 whereas here it's closer to midnight.  does impact your camping plans a fair bit.  solstice is already looming in the near distant future. i always get a bit sad at summer solstice as it means the sun will start to go down a bit earlier and earlier...dang.
 Ketchikans runway doesn't really seem all that much longer.  that is my old city down there.
 it has changed quite a bit.  mostly to accommodate's completely dependent it seems on the tourists now.  many things are were good changes.  it is sad to see so many tourist shops that are only there for the boat people.  it was funny when we wandered around shops we were always asked which boat we'd come off of and we were always treated just a bit better once we were found to not be from any of the boats.  we even got locals discounts for being from Alaska.
 one shopkeeper was very concerned that we'd be late to our boat as the last boat was leaving soon.  she was relieved to discovery we would not miss our boat as we weren't on the boat.
 my WARIS stuff had to take  a short break while i was away.  the logo is looking good, thanks to Stephanie and we have a few more likes.  i've not heard from  the native group i wrote to but i have noticed that they have been checking out our public page for WARIS so i'm guessing they got my message.
 also good news was Friends of Mcneil River gave our group a shout out on their newsletter!!! thanks FOMR.
 have gotten through about half of my photo's taken.  still all from the big camera to go.  hopefully there are some fun pictures and some cool ones.
 the TAkU is in dry dock getting work done.  my Ketchikan friends planned a dinner out with us that first i got an extra birthday celebration...i must have been tired as i never thought to take any photo's that night.  it was great fun seeing all my cool friends from Ketchikan days.
 we stayed at the Anchor Inn.  right on the water, lovely place.  i was so excited to be back by the water in Ketchikan that i was unable to sleep much and i woke at like 4 am when the sun came up.  i dozed off and on with the view from the couch. Bob and Tanya got in the same day i did so we all crashed there the first two nights.
 scott and sandra came in the night before or the day before.  that day was a bit of a rush getting them in, shifting me to Janets place, getting together with the guides...just lots of texting and calls.
 i did get a few minutes to run out to my friend Jolenes place and check out their house. they had built it since i've moved away. the day before another friend Anita joined bob and tanya and i for a walk up to Minerva mountain via Perseverence trail.  the first part the steps have been removed but the part from Perseverence to Minerva is all wooden steps, many of which had been taken out by falling trees.
 great hike but we were beat and the mosquito's at the top were killers!!  these views are from the inn
 there is our place by the sea.

 me in downtown
 the Hospital i used to work at for 6 years.
 we made a stop by the fish and game headquarters.  met so many nice and helpful folks while there....such a great little town. i do miss it in many ways.
Bob and Tanya. i shall stop there and get some rest.  gotta get used to night shift hours again.

thankful fors...1.  safe trip for all to/from Ketchikan 2.  sunnys skies and minimal wind which made for a great paddle 3.  experienced and fun guides who made the trip even's so nice to be able to leave so much of those details to others and relax more out there.

1 comment:

  1. Have a good sleep and work. I was so excited to see you got a post up. I wish I could have been there... It's a shame there was no dragonfly boat again?