Petersburg AK – Bear Story & More 6/13

Wrangell Narrows

The ferry from Wrangell to Petersburg passes through an area called Wrangell Narrows as it approaches Petersburg. The high tide there dictates the ferry schedule since it can only be traversed during higher tides. The ferry has to make about 45 changes in directions as it passes though this area between islands. This is described as a slalom course. We were told that this ferry trip is ideal for spotting wild life on either side of the boat during daylight. We took the ferry passage thru this area around midnight. We were told that the “Christmas lights” nighttime ride through the narrows was great and it was!

As we entered the narrows, we took our seats in the enclosed forward observation deck, at least those of us who were awake. Kim and I woke up Milly because the view and navigation process were spectacular to observe. There were flashing red and green lights stretched out almost as far as you could see as the ferry made its way to the left of the red lights and to the right of the green lights. At first it was easy to see what the captain was doing and what needed to be done.  At times, there also were two white lights in the distance that were close together almost appearing as one. Once we got close to the actual lights they separated. We understand that when the lights appear as one the ferry is on course.

Fred had to back up most of the car deck and turn before getting off the ferry. He is getting used to that as long as he is guided with exact instructions on what to do.

Flying Motor Boats and our Campsites

Our first night in Petersburg was spent at the Twin Creek RV Park about 5 miles out of town on the Mitkof Highway. It provided full connection services including WIFI and we had reservations for 4 nights. However, we decided to get more a rustic camping site at the National Forrest Campground at Ohmer Creek about 17 miles further down the highway. We selected a site there for 2 nights at $3 a night “Senior Pass rate” versus the private rate where we were. We went back to get our rig. In the end, we found an unbelievably scenic campsite in a secluded wooded spot right on an ocean straight for no cost about 4 miles down from Ohmer Creek where we spent 3 nights. We paid for all 3 sites for 1st 2 nights. (1 free)

While still at Twin Creek and  waiting to go to town for provisions, Kim and Fred were on internet checking their  email. Then, we heard a harsh scrapping sound and looked out the camper windows to see this boat trailer screeching down the road by itself. It careened into a ditch just before it was to hit a couple of camp sites, the boat on it went flying forward up the ditch. We all ran to see what happened. There were about 6 men doing construction work at the RV Park and 3 or 4 campers out there to survey the situation. We lifted the trailer back on the road and managed to slide the trailer under the boat to where it could be wrenched back onto the trailer. No damage was done to boat or trailer. What a caused this? There was no safety chain and the hitch was configured for a larger ball that was on pickup. The native Alaskan driver was heard to say “I don’t understand. I got it this far without any problems”.  He drove off with his twin engine boat not realizing how lucky he was.

Racing with a Black Bear

This is going to hard to believe but its all true.

Yesterday, about a mile up the road from our campsite as we were driving on a gravel road section of Mitkof Highway, we were accosted by a black bear. He was running right beside us about 5 feet to the left of Fred who was driving about 25-30 miles per hour. Man, that bear was really cruising along with very powerful strokes. Fred shouted “What the .. Get a camera” and hit the brakes. The bear swerved right is front of the car, crossed the road and disappeared into the woods. We don’t know the bear’s side of this story and have no clue on what happened just before we saw the bear. It was certainly an unforgettable experience for all three of us.   We wish we had been ready with a camera to catch the action.

Catherine of Sienna Church, Petersburg, AK

Today, Milly and Kim paddled out onto the Sumner Straight from our campsite. Fred went to Petersburg to attend what turned out to be a very spiritual Mass. The singing of the choir was glorious. Fr. Pat Casey, OMI gave an excellent sermon about the Eucharist or Communion which highlighted on the real presence. Fred was very moved by the spirit. He was reminded that heaven and earth are truly united in each Holy Eucharistic Celebration. Fr. Casey knew of Fred’s uncle, Fr. Ron Dunfey, and knew the other Alaskan priests that Fred had met; Bishop Kenny, Fr. Mike Nash and Fr Jim Kolb, OMI.

All of the following pictures were taken right from our Campsite on Sumner Straight. Other pictures taken on Hikes and Paddles will get posted tomorrow or as soon as we can review.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply