- Posted July 26, 2011 by
Baranoff Island, Alaska
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Alaska: Plenty of room to roam
Alaskan Wilderness Adventure
My husbands dream was to go to Alaska. As we approached our 50th wedding anniversary it was time to go. My husband at 76 and myself at 70 I was afraid one of us would not make it or have health problems. So it was set. We contacted my husband cousin who had lived in Alaska for over thirty years. She helped us plan the trip and made all the plans. She should be a tour guide.
July of 2009 we boarded Southwest Airlines and headed to Seattle, Washington where we would change airline carriers. We had to claim our baggage since Alaska Air did not have an agreement with Southwest. A bummer, but it was not going to damper our spirits. It still did not discourage us, although my husband did say "traveling is not much fun anymore".
Finally arriving at Sitka airport we had to circle because of fog. But it did lift and Phyllis and Mark were there to meet us. Their home is located on an island in Sitka Harbor. We had never met Mark who is bush pilot. Talk about peace and tranquility. Looking out at the ocean and watching the cruise ships and fishing boats going by was so interesting as well as seeing the eagles soar. We stayed a few days with Phyllis and Mark with several trips into Sitka, which was fascinating. The harbor, with the fishing boats, the museums, the little shops and we even found an old fashion ice cream parlor at the local drug store.
Then Phyllis announced that she had secured a cabin on a glacier lake and Mark would fly us in. Phyllis had all the camping gear and we went grocery shopping the next day we headed to the airport and Mark flew us to this wonderful lake surrounded by mountains. Phyllis failed to tell us that this was the only cabin on the lake and civilization was 20 air miles away. The cabin was very rustic or should I say primitive. Two bunk beds, a table, a small counter and a wood stove. No running water, No electric, but we did have an outhouse, a boat and oars. Phyllis had brought a small motor for the boat and some gasoline so we could ride in style. We suddenly realized we were in brown bear country and we did not have a gun with us for protection. We happen to live in an area that has black bear and we do encounter them in our yard most of the summer, so we were not too worried. All of a sudden my cell phone rang. We had cell service. We were not isolated.
Saturday morning we took off in the boat and down the lake to a trail that led to the hot springs. A dip in the hot spring, which overlooked the waterfall where the lake empties into Warm Springs Bay, and then back on the trail to Warm Springs Bay. This is where I took a nasty fall. When we arrived at our destination it was gorgeous. They even had public baths with water from the hot springs. The wild flowers are beautiful, all along the shoreline and trails.
We then headed for The Baranof Wilderness Lodge for dinner. The Lodge is a fishing lodge only accessible by boat or plane or walking. Mike Trotter and his wife make you feel like one of the family. The food was five star qualities with fresh dug clams, crabs, all types of fish and a prime rib. If you're a fishing person you do want to check this out. Accomodations are also 5 star considering the remoteness.
Back to Sitka by ferry and the following day Mark took us on a flight to see the glacier. Flying in a small plane between the mountains can be scary. The scenery that you witness is well worth all the nail biting.
It was time to head home to New York State with a stop in Seattle to see another cousin. Stayed overnight and back home. Went to the doctors because I was still in pain from my fall. After receiving a CTscan and I was told I had Kidney Cancer. It was a lucky fall because it was found it in time. Removal of one kidney and I am my old self.