Flowers and Fog

Once again things are a bit out of sequence as I try to catch up with all the adventures we’ve been having.  One reason is that we’ve been without any good connectivity for long periods of time, and another reason is that it’s very difficult to talk about wonderful things when friends are struggling.  One friend is in hospice.  Our town remains in great pain after the loss of the two teenage girls on July 4th.  And we recently learned that a very dear friend has been diagnosed with a terrible disease.  We’re crushed.  Our hearts are very broken.  Life is like the flowers and fog of today’s post – sometimes beautiful and sometimes opaque, gloomy and difficult.  We’ll share our adventures and the beauty of this wonderful place that we live in, but we do so with heavy hearts right now.

On our way to an anchorage one afternoon we encountered an adult humpback apparently teaching a calf how to breach.  The calf made a lot of half-hearted attempts, but finally started to get the hang of it. 20160623 2762 young whale breaching 1 r20160623 2737 breaching whale splash r - CopyEven a young whale makes a pretty big splash!  And the adult seemed to encourage the calf with lots of tail-slapping – it was a neat show as we headed into Portage Bay.20160623 2611 portage bay view r - CopyIt was a pretty spot – one we hadn’t been in before, but it was so big and open that we didn’t way to stay more than a night.  If the wind kicked up it wouldn’t be such a great spot, and there weren’t any good nooks and crannies to explore by kayak.  The next day we dashed across Frederick Sound to Farragut Bay to ride out a few windy days.  The wild flowers on shore were so pretty…

Scarlet Paintbrush

Scarlet Paintbrush

Lupine

Lupine

Once the wind settled we moved to Thomas Bay not far from Petersburg, and spent some time on the Cascade Creek hiking trail.20160706 2864 cascade creek cascade rThe trail follows the rushing water all the way up to a lake, though we didn’t go that far this time.  Some of the trail is a boardwalk over the muddiest places…20160706 2892 cascade creek boardwalk trail r…and the Forest Service trail crews have been making a lot of improvements to the upper trails, replacing old rotted wood and carving steps into the boulders.20160706 2906 cascade creek trail rock stairs rCan you imagine how difficult it is to chisel out these steps?  Whatever equipment they use must be big and heavy, and somehow they haul it up to the higher sections of the trail.  Very impressive – this is wild and rugged terrain.20160706 2908 cascade creek upper trail rAfter a couple of days we needed to return to town, and although the morning started bright and beautiful we noticed some tendrils of fog reaching into the anchorage.20160707 2916 thomas bay fog rWe hoped the fog was just in the bay, but it quickly socked in and we were in pea soup for most of the trip back to Petersburg.  We heard our fisherman friend Ray on the radio – he alerted us that there were gillnetters fishing out in the Sound and told us to hug the far shore to avoid them.  There would have been no way to miss their nets if we were out in the middle!

Ray has an interesting fishing boat – it’s a DeFever 40 that has been converted for commercial fishing.  He loves to brag about VIDA’s sea-keeping qualities, and her ability to throw off big waves.  We get to (mostly) choose the weather we venture out in, but the fishermen go out in all conditions.  We think Arthur DeFever designed superb sea boats, but it’s nice to hear it from the professionals.20160625 2768 vida in frederick sound wide rBack in town we did a little hiking – one of our favorite trails is the Ohmer Creek Trail, with a nice mix of forest, muskeg (Alaskan bog), a stream and pond.20160703 2799 ohmer creek pond reflection rThe water lilies are just starting to bloom – so beautiful.20160703 2798 water lily blossom r

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