This morning we woke up at 4:30 am, rowed into Wrangle for breakfast and then rowed and sailed to Petersburg. It was a big day and now we are staying in a motel. A few days ago we stopped at the Anan Creek Bear Observatory. It was awesome. It’s just a wooden platform with railiings over looking a waterfall area where there are tons of Black Bears and a few Grizzly’s fishing for salmon. There are forest service rangers managing the site who live in a little float house in the Bay. It turns out I had met one of them at my friend Eddy’s house in Colorado last winter. Two of the Black bears had cubs, one with a single and one with twins, and one of the Grizzly’s had twins. They were super cute, the black bear cubs can run up trees like flat ground. We watched the bears for hours, catching fish and rumbling around. A black bear came up and stuck it’s paws throught the railing and swiped at Mike and growled then got sprayed with mace by one of the rangers. Apparently that is the first time that has happened this year. It seems to have changed Mike’s attitude about bears a bit. It seems kind of odd that humans and bears are coexisting so closely there, especially with the Grizzly’s. They come up very close to the railing and we encountered them several times on the path.
We had a whole week of glorious sunny weather, and now it is raining again. The curious thing is that we welcome the rain, because the sun comes with North winds and the rain with south winds. Though I do enjoy the sun, even if we have to row more and it puts Mike in a foul mood because he thrives off making a lot of miles in a day.
(Mike’s Additions): We passed a few miles to the west Le Conte Inlet, which is the southern most Tidewater Glacier in this area. The day was rainy with powerful looking clouds around, giving off some down pours. The sun was sending rays through, catching on a fleet of Icebergs drifting north with the ebb. Cold wind was pouring out of the inlet. Being about five miles away from the sights we were tempted to go take a look. On the other hand it looked pretty rugged, with a potential for coldness, strong wind bursts, collisions with ice and maybe no camping. Like many other spots along our route, the exploring will be postponed.
Locals look at us like we are crazy up here. I know they are thinking about the big storms that can come through. There is a chance of them in late August and by October they regularly roll through with winds as big as 70 mph. I am going to check the weather next. We plan to start the next 100 mile section into Juneau with the Ebb at 1:30 today. Like Orange says, the rains bring south breezes, which we caught for good progress yesterday.
We will pass Admiralty Island where Grizzly Bears (called Brown Bears up here) outnumber people two to one and are one bear every square mile. The Island also has more Bald Eagles than all the other places in the US combined (2500) - that statistic is from 2005 and may be outdated.
We will need to pass up some great sites that Kayakers go through because the Hot Tuna is too big. There is a cool portage rail cart at the end of Fool’s Inlet. We could gamble and maybe there would be a group of young guys to help us lift the Hot Tuna - but I think it would not work out.
We are excited to relax in Juneau.