Posts Tagged ‘Ferry’

Spruce Meadows RV Park, Juneau 6/25/2009

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

The Mother and Daughter who run the campground are real Alaskans. If you need anything, they will help.

Their campground facilities are exceptionally clean and well cared for. The campsites are well spaced out and many are nestled in the woods. Tent campers may find a canopy over their tents or other shelters made available to them during the rain.

Coffee is available in Laudry/TV area. In the morning, first camper up hits the coffee start button. In the office, there is a DVD library where campers can borrow movies.

Whatever you need to know, ask and they will get the answers for you.

Their rates are reasonable (Full hookups $32 – we paid $30 since they will give you $2 off if you donate to food panty)

The owners are happy, cheerful people who actually care about their customers.

Our last day in Juneau was a little on the chilly side, so we cancelled our planned kayak paddle among the icebergs at Mendenhall Lake. We dropped Kim off for her return to San Francisco via Seattle where she will be visiting a few friends. He left on 4:40 PM Ferry to Haines. Fred had to back into his spot on car deck once again. At Haines, he will be able to pull forward around whole car deck before exiting the ferry.

Ferry from Sitka to Juneau 06/20/2009

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

The Ferry from Sitka to Juneau made stops at Angoon, Tenekee Springs and Hoonah. We left Sitka about 2 PM and arrived in Juneau at 6:30 AM. We go to Angoon at 7 pm, Tenekee Springs at 10:30 PM and Hoonah at 3:30 am.

Fred and Kim got off at Tenekee Springs. There are no cars there. Many of the homes are on stilts. The homes are close together along the “roadway” on both sides of the ferry dock. We saw a main store, post office and an “open” library. The library had no doors on it. We understand that there are really nice homes further up the roadway. Many second homes are Juneau people who come here for the fishing and to get away. It was a very quaint place with “street lighting” lining the coast.

Fred had to back onto the Ferry and had to reposition the rig at Angoon.

We brought our “bedding” up to the observation lounge so that we could sleep.

Sitka – final full day 6/19/2009

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

In the morning, Milly and Fred ventured into the Sitka harbor near both the Alaskan Ferry Dock and the campground. This is about 5 miles from town. We paddled along the coast into more isolated coves and points. After about 2 hours we returned and went up the estuary meadow area near our campsite where we had seen the brown bears the previous 2 days. There were no signs of bears but, as we went up the estuary, Milly remarked that the bears can swim!


In the afternoon, we went to the Sitka Laundry to take showers. Then, we visited the Sitka National Historical Park. This is a must see for all visitors to Sitka. The “museum” section was well done with exhibits of native history and totems. The nature walk through the 1804 Russian Tlingit battleground area was very beautifully done.

In the evening, we went to the Sitka Music Festival. It was great. We saw and listened to 3 groups of outstanding musicians play various offerings of chamber music. 

Tomorrow morning, we hope to see the local Russian dancers perform before we take our ferry to Juneau at 2 PM. Its is going to be a 16 hour trip getting to Juneau at 6:30 am. We get to stop at 3 other inside passage towns on the way. We had planned on taking the fast ferry. It is in dry dock being repared. Now, we are going on the milk run. It will probably be very interesting to see Angoon, Tenekee Springs and Hoonah on way to Juneau. ( If we can stay awake)

Ferry to Sitka via Kake from Petersburg 6/15/2009

Friday, June 19th, 2009

We had a fairly long ferry trip to Sitka of 13 hours. We left at about 11:30 AM on 6/15 and arrived in Sitka at 1:30 am on 6/16. We had a cabin so we could relax. We stopped in Kake, AK for an hour. The islands around Kake were beautiful. As we approached the Sitka area, the ferry traversed narrow passageways between islands that had the captain using red and green lights to changes course. It was foggy and misty which added to the drama.

When we got to Sitka, Fred had to back up the camper again a considerable distance on the car deck. He was aided by the deck crew who directed him on his wheel movements. When we got to National Forrest campground, the gate said it was locked. We parked and setup in a parking lot for the night. When we went to the campground in the morning, we were told that they knew we were coming and had left the gates shut but unlocked.

We learn from each situation.

Petersburg AK – Bear Story & More 6/13

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

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.

Ketchikan – Misty Fjiords 06/05-07/2009

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

On the morning after our arrival in Ketchikan. we drove inland on gravel roads to Lake Harriet Hunt. We did get lost taking a wrong turn on gravel road intersection. Local hunters straightened us out.  We paddled this “wilderness” mountain lake and found an “adventure” tour location with a rainforest trail.


In the late afternoon, we picked up our daughter Kimberly at the airport. Kim lives in San Fransisco Area. She joins us for 3 weeks on inside passage. Each night, while at Last Chance campground, we gathered wood and lit a campfire. Our neighbors in campground were primarily Alaskans who came out to enjoy the unusually warm and sunny weather. They get 150 inches of rain a year here! Next to us was a family with about 30 people. We met the grandmother. They had 4 tents and many family visitors. It was nice to see so many children enjoying the woods.

The next day, we visited Totem Bight, which was a nicely set up rendering of a Tribal Clan winter “home”. We also took a half day Allen Marine tour trip to the Misty Fjords National Monument.

We boarded a ferry for Wrangell on June 7th. It was a larger ferry – the Columbia. We like the Taku better. It seems that large doesn’t necessarily give you better viewing or seating arrangements. This ferry originated in Bellingham and had campers on board. It was interesting to see how these people tied down their tents on the ferry. We had read about it but seeing is believing!

When we arrived in Wrangell, I was troubled when I realized I need to back up my camper half the ferry deck in a straight line with about a foot to spare on either side. Then, I had to back around a corner. A deck hand told me ‘Don’t worry, I’ll tell you exactly what to do.” I did and we made it! I wish he was around to guide me every time I needed to back up.