True East Ketchikan to Sitka June 5 to July 4th

Leaving Ketchikan, on route to Juneau our first stop was a Wrangle. Here we took a jet boat tour up to Le Conte Glacier…several miles of ice pack on the way into the glacier with seals berthing on the safety of the floating ice.

On to Petersburg with a stop at the Sandborne Canal in the Tongass National Forest. We then arrived at Tracy Arm with it’s glaciers on a beautiful clear and warm day. In the north arm we were clear right to the face of the glacier, in the south arm hundred of seal birthed on the floating ice pack.

We both read James Mitchner’s Alaska while cruising along. Stopping in Taku Harbor was very special at is was the scene of his discussion of salmon fishing and canning in Alaska at the turn of the last century. We arrived in Juneau on June 10th and it would become our locus for the next ten days. First we went north up the Lynn Canal to Haines and Skagway. Haines is where the Alaskan Highway ferry from Washington State first connects with the Alaskan highways. A fabulous community that has rejected the cruise ships and is filled with all sorts of interesting folks we had the opportunity to spend time with. Fireweed Cafe provided one our best meals on the trip. At Skagway, we took the train up the gold rush trail to the Yukon.

Returning to Juneau, we left the boat and flew to Anchorage where we then took the eight hour train ride to Denali National Park, the location of 20,000 foot Mt. McKinley. From our lodge, we explored the area and took a twelve hour bus ride into the park up to Kantishna, another gold rush community. While they say the mountain is only visible about 20% of the time, we lucked out with a crystal clear 80 degree day for our visit.

Back to Juneau and on to Sitka, the original Russian capital of Alaska. On route we stopped at Tenakee Springs, along with Kasaan and Haines this was one of our favorite communities. We arrived at Sitka just before the opening of the offshore King Salmon season. Hundreds of boat were getting ready with provisions, fueling and icing for the most important few days of the fishing season.

We were joined in Sitka by the Yuan family for a long weekend. On arrival we immediately headed out for a quite anchorage in Leesoffskaia Bay. Luke, Deanne and Sara all insisted on sleeping on deck during the entire stay. Howard was sensible enough to stay inside. Sea otters, eagles, seals, deer, whales and Sara’s claim to seeing a bear. A nice soak in the tubs at Goddard Hot Springs before returning to Sitka. One day of getting the boat ready for the next leg including fueling and an oil change. Cooper Raphael arrived on to boat and dog sit while we headed off to the Kristi and Chris wedding in New Jersey.

Kristi and Chris met in New Hampshire twenty years ago on 4th of July, that explains a 4th of July wedding. A great gathering of friends and family to celebrate this union. From the wedding they were off to Tanzania for a honeymoon and Marcia and Dan returned to Alaska.

Click on the photo to see the album of this trip