Saturday, June 10,
When we woke up in the Walmart parking lot, we were in the company of at least 15 other overnighters – all from our ferry. We were the first up and off, and we headed 14 miles down the road to Clover Bay RV Resort, where we had reservations. The “resort” is a collection of sea-side buildings including rental rooms, marina services, restaurant, fishing tours, and several tiers of parking lot back-ins for RVs. The entire parking lot is the “dirty” stone that includes a lot of black grime and behind our camper there is a small patch (we’re talking 6’ X 4’) of grass. Actually, we can sit our camp chairs on our patch of (long) grass and overlook the ocean! For camping purposes I would not call it a paradise, but it is a place to headquarters out of and it has all the services and full hook-ups we need. And, the people that run the place are extremely helpful and pleasant. And, most importantly, the internet is the speed of light!
We headed out to explore Ketchikan in the morning – taking sandwiches with us. On the Tongas Highway, back towards town, we stopped at the Totem Bight State Historical Park. . . so named because from the air it looked like a “bight” had been taken out of the coastline. In the early 1900’s Alaskan Natives were rousted by a growth of non-native settlements and they left behind their villages and totem poles which were quickly overgrown by forests. In 1938 the U.S. Forest Service began salvaging and reconstructing the large cedar totem poles. The CCC hired skilled carvers from among the older natives, and suddenly young artisans began learning the art of carving totem poles and many of the rotting totems were repaired or duplicated. We jumped in front of a tour bus group and followed the trail map around the park.
Our next stop was smack downtown where the cruise ships port – the Disney Princess had just arrived and gushed out her tourists. The stores are definite tourist traps, with barkers standing in the doors saying: “You know you want to come in and look!” We have been warned many times that the jewelry and “native crafts” are not indigenous – but we still had to go in a few stores for a quick look.
We took our sandwiches on down the road to the Rotary Beach picnic area, and had a nice little walk along the shore, and Tom added to his around-the-USA water collection. (it is a farthest North, and a farthest West sample.)
A long-awaited goal was our first Alaska Seafood dinner. While walking the streets of the tourist entrapment area, we couldn’t help but notice the prices posted on the restaurant door ($29. for a single king crab leg!), so we opted for a fish market where we purchased Black Cod and shrimp. A grocery store produced all we needed to go with it – fresh corn/cob, lemon, small red potatoes, etc. Back at the camper we had a bottle of Oliver Bubblecraft White to baptize the meal!
After dinner, Tom accepted advice from a teen-aged girl – she said if we wanted to see bears, drive to Herring Bay in the early evening. We bit! It was a 30 minute drive back down the Tongass Highway and back up the other side of the point. No bears . . . but a beautiful drive!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown