Day 27 back in internet service

Trip Start Jun 11, 2009
1
6
Trip End Jul 18, 2009


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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Wednesday, July 8, 2009

After many days without internet I am on a 4 hour ferry layover in Ketchikan, AK where I have service.  The weather is unbelievable, even the locals are commenting.  Severe clear with temperatures approaching 80 inland and almost 70 on the water.  It's been this way for me ever since I left Homer.

I left Juneau on the Kenacott and went to Home on the 25th to visit my childhood friend Frank Cloyd and his family.  After a couple days I fast ferried to Valdez and drove up to Slana where I lived when I worked in Wrangell-St. Elias NP.  My friend Thelma and her extended family were great hosts.  The ride out of Valdez was in steady cold rain and then showers through the Copper Basin.  It snowed down to about 3500',  looked like September's "termination dust" not the middle of summer.

The weather cleared off and I drove to Haines and where I stayed with friends Paul and Amy who run Mtn. Flying service.  I had a wonderful time visiting with them in their new house and it was topped off by an incredible scenic flight with Paul over Glacier Bay NP on a severe clear day in his new Bush Hawk plane.

A couple days later I'm back on the ferry to Juneau where I sayed with my friend Thomas who I fly with at Twin Otter.  In addition to wonderful hospitality I got a Beaver float plane ride to a remote fishing village, about an hour each way!

Then back on the ferry and out to Sitka where I had 24 hours to see the place and it was wonderful.  I took a nice hike to the top of a 2000' mountain with a look over the bay/harbor.  Saw a couple of rehabed grizzly bears, eagles and toured Sitka NHP and looked at some of the old Russian American fur trade facilities from the 1800's.

Back on the fast ferry (a 220' weilded aluminum 4 turbine jet boat-halls butt) for the trip back to Juneau.  Its still clear and warm.  Watching whales and birds is difficult at 40 mph but we saw them.

The next day was Petersburg, again on the fast ferry so it only took 4 hours despite the fact that one of the four propulsion units was down.  The town was fantastic, a true fishing town with no bust and boom cycles and no Cruise Boats.  Those things are killing the local culture of small SE Alaska towns.

Today was the normal slow ferry down to Ketchican actually got to watch whales several times and saw a coupl pair of loons which was a treat.  Here is Ketchican I've never seen sobme many float planes flying, it out does lake hood for activity.  Lots of turbine Otters and normal Beavers plus the regular Cessna 185 and 206's unfortunately its all in support of the Cruise ship traffic.  Over night we sail to Prince Rupert BC with a day layover and then on the BC ferry to Vancouver Island  where I'll actually start ridding the bike again. The weather continues to hold.

Pictures later, I just wanted to get caught up.....at least a little!

Ross
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