Blazing sunshine greeting us this morning dictating we don shorts, sunscreen, and sunglasses as our exploration equipment. Thusly clad we tromped along the boardwalk of Ideal Cove on Mitkof Island. The Forest Service, custodian of this planked pathway, was busy helicoptering in additional lumber to facilitate improvements and repairs. The weather was perfect for ambitious walks around the lakes as well a leisurely amble up to the beaver dam. Shelves of neon chicken-of-the-woods fungus and dangling crimson berries provided splashes of color in an otherwise green dominated rain forest.
Fortified with lunch and additional sunscreen, we dove into the options presented by a visit to the town of Petersburg. Our explorations were varied from strolls into town to visit the local bookseller and quilt shop to a mosey through the hardware store and then to the ice cream shop. Just across the Wrangle Narrows, an ambitious hike up to Petersburg Mountain was offered as well as a more civilized investigation of a muskeg environment.
Salmon fishing season is in full swing and the bustle in the harbor reflected an expectant readiness for the next opening. The fishing industry in Alaska is highly regulated and subsequently successfully sustainable, a goal that few have been able to attain. We strolled the dock and learned from Pete about the different rigs for fishing the five species of Pacific Salmon, as well as for halibut and cod or sable fish.
We closed the evening with a taste of the crustaceanal bounty of the sea, Dungeness crab fresh from the crab pots of Petersburg. While we digested from our feast, we watched humpback whales spouting and lunge feeding in the amazingly productive waters of Southeast Alaska. Each of us independently reaching gastronomic satisfaction. Burp.