May 28, 2019 - National Geographic Venture
Today was a wonderful day, as we were able to step foot on land in America’s largest national forest, the Tongass. At over 17 million acres, this beautiful temperate rainforest is full of wonder and covers the near whole of Southeast Alaska. It almost feels like you are stepping into a fairy tale when you enter from the beach, under a canopy of Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock.
We began our day at Fox creek, where we hiked along the shoreline, and explored the many plants and animals that inhabit this special place on Chichagof Island. We came across several interesting species like chocolate lilies, bird’s nest fungus, false hellebore, and learned about the many medicinal uses of the infamous Devil’s club that you will find abundant here in these coastal forests.
While some explored the forests, others enjoyed a paddle around Shaw Island and took in the sights and sounds from a relaxing seat atop the waters of Idaho Inlet.
After lunch, we enjoyed Zodiac tours at the Inian Islands, which are always an adventure. Here we witnessed the change of the tides as the waters rushed through cross sound, into the Inside Passage. The Inian Islands and Cross Sound are a distinct part of Alaska’s Southeast, where we typically find Steller sea lions at one of their favorite haul-outs, and today they greeted us with their usual grunts and a few curious passes by our Zodiacs. It was truly another adventurous day of exploring some of the most vibrant wilderness one can find anywhere in the world.
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