Well we had to say goodbye to our daughter and son-in-law Shannon and Jeff on Saturday from Wrangell. They flew into Petersburg just before our son and granddaughter Jason and Carter flew out. Jeff said he brought us the sunshine and he is the “drought king.” We only had sunshine two days so not sure he is the sunshine king or drought king or whatever…… We motored through Wrangell Narrows from Petersburg and, stayed in St. John Harbor where there are the most beautiful sunsets when of course the sun has been out, and then headed down to Anan Bear Observatory. You need a permit to get in the observatory so we called Wrangell Ranger Station and they had only 4 permits left for the day we wanted to go. So on our way we stopped in Wrangel and picked them up. Getting to the ranger station was not exactly easy. Jeff and I set off. Ron and Shannon stayed behind with the boat on the transit dock. I was told to go towards town and up the hill on such and such a street. Well we did not find such and such a street as we were all the way at the end of town. Finally Jeff decided to ask and were told it was back about a mile by the hospital. So we continued to hike and found the hospital but it was way beyond town almost to the airport. We finally got our permits and headed back after, according to Jeff a 3-4 mile hike. The sun was shining so it was great exercise.
We anchored the night in Berg Bay that night. It was raining and foggy. There is a USFS cabin so we decided to check it out. Behind the cabin was a wooden walk way (very nice one) so low and behold we had to walk it to see where it went according to Ron. I was in the middle of the group singing songs with Shannon and carrying a bell to make noises. Ron was leading and Jeff was bringing up the rear. It was quite a hike to this flat meadow and bay on the other side of the hill. Would have been beautiful if it hadn’t been raining so hard. Rain in South East Alaska is something else. It just pours. Ron was complaining to a local we met and he said “well you are in a rain forest” duh!! They measure rain by the foot not the inch as we do back home. We did not encounter any bears…..probably the singing kept them away. We did later find out a woman had been mauled in that area a few years back.
The next day we went to Anan Bear Observatory and we took turns going to see the bears so that someone was on the boat at all times as anchorage is questionable. Jeff and Shannon took the dingy to shore and went first and they came back ecstatic so we went next. There was no ranger to meet us where we beached the dingy, and the wooden walk-way started, so we started walking and about half way to the observation hut (1/4 mile?) there was a bear coming up the draw by the walk-way we were on. We continued to move along making a lot of noise. He/she watched us but made no threatening moves. After we got past we walked backwards keeping an eye on her/he.( Didn’t want to get close enough to make out if the bear was a he or she) We got to the observatory and there was a mama grizzly bear and 3 cubs along with a couple of black bears in the river catching fish. The black bears didn’t get too near the grizzlies, especially mom and her three cubs.. They kept their distance. We watched them all for a few hours. It was so cool to be that close to a wild bears in their habitat not a zoo. No bars between us…….. When we were ready to leave the ranger had us wait as they did not have an eye on the mama bear and she can be testy. She had false charged a ranger a day before. She had left the river where she and cubs were fishing and the ranger didn’t know where she went and wanted to get “eyes” on her before he let us go back down the trail. Finally we left in a group of other people that were there also and just made lots of noise.They had guns, we had a can of bear spray. The sun was shining that day….whohoo.
Our next stop was Thoms Place. Jeff and Shannon went out in the dinghy just exploring and of course it was raining and windy. Our next day on the way to Wrangell we decided to do some fishing in Anita Bay. We thought about staying the night but the commercial gill netters had the entire bay taken up stringing their nets across the bay. We thought it would be a great area to catch fish if the fishing boats were all out there. It had worked before, but such luck….came up empty handed.
Just before Jeff and Shannon were to fly home we took the trip up the Stikene River to the Shakes Glacier and it was a beautiful sunny day A lot different than the last time we were there.
I also need to mention that we played Mexican Trail almost every night. Ron and Jeff think it is a stupid game but we all had fun playing it. I am not going to mention who won twice since it is a stupid game lol….Ron was the “first looser on every game”
Cabernet “at home on any sea”