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Exploring Scow Bay

The Lost Road to Lynnwood My previous duty station stood on the arid shores of Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Utah.  One sunny and warm day, my German Shepherd and I checked out the remote and abandoned Antelope Flats in the wide open sagebrush flats at the northern end of the...

Winter Nights, Camp fires, and Mars?

Mars “Tis a strange wind that blows on the edge of the forest.” I quoted. “Oh dad!” The future founder of Alaskan Seafood Guys responded. Then he felt the chilling breeze sneak into the old growth.  We’d been climbing up Ravens Roost and finally made it to the clearing over...

Three Lakes - The Building of an Alaskan Trail System

Three Lakes Out Mitkof Highway a little beyond Man-Made Hole the Three Lakes Loop Road branches off.  The three lakes (actually; five) listed north to south are Sand, Hill and Crane.  Get it?  Sand Hill cranes are an auspicious and ominous sign to Petersburgers.  With their flocks in long “V”...

Snake Ridge - A Road to Alaskan Adventure

Snake Ridge The first time I went to Snake Ridge Road, I scouted out a helicopter sling job.  Back then the Mitkof Highway ran asphalt-free from the hatchery to Banana Point on the southern end of the island.  So after a long drive on the slick, rutted,  often muddy road...

Banana Point - Connecting Two Alaskan Towns

Banana Point It is eleven minutes between Wrangell and Petersburg by jet.  But Wrangell Island and the South End of Mitkof Island are much closer by boat from Banana Point.   A while after I first came to Southeast Alaska, myself and the future Alaskan Seafood Guys headed south on Mitkof...

The Myth of the Otter People

When the coastal glaciers retreated, the Tlingit followed the great rivers from the interior and laid claim to the salmon runs on the Inside Passage.  Across Frederick Sound from banner-hung Petersburg lays Thomas Bay.  Long ago a Tlingit clan settled at Point Agassi, a long wide peninsula separating Thomas Bay ...

A Herring Ball and a Stare Down with a Sea Lion

That’s a Herring Ball!   When I was new to Southeast Alaska, I saw a black spot on the surface of Sumner Straits, just beyond the mouth of the Stikine River.  It was like a thunder storm pelting the water’s surface with hail.  I shouted out a warning to my...

An Alaskan Fishing Villages Effort to Fight a Downton Fire

It Takes a Village… I walked into the Petersburg Volunteer Fire Department (PVFD) rain-soaked, tired, hungry and unbeknownst to me hypothermic. The retired firefighters called-in to refill the air tanks recognized symptoms in this newbie.  They told me to get dry, turnout gear, and go up the break room to...