We spent the second day of our Alaskan adventure in Wrangell, an island that the Tlingit people have inhabited for millennia. In the morning, our guests were given the option of going on a jet boat tour or visiting Chief Shakes House.
The jet boat tour took us up the Stikine River, a wild body of water that bears the distinction of being the fastest navigable river in North America. Aside from the exhilaration of the rushing water, highlights included a bald eagle nest and a number of harbor seals.
Chief Shakes House is a replica of a Tlingit longhouse built on a site where Tlingit royalty once lived. Built in 1940 and restored in 2012, it is on the National Register of Historic Places. After this visit, Naturalist Al led a hike through the muskeg, introducing our guests to the amazing plant life of southeast Alaska. To finish off the morning, we visited Petroglyph Beach Historic Site. This amazing place boasts dozens of petroglyphs, which may be up to 8,000 years old. While their meaning has been lost to time, we enjoyed speculating about these mysterious etchings and what significance they may have had to the people who created them.
After a delicious lunch onboard the ship, we returned to the town of Wrangell, where our naturalists led a hike up Mount Dewey. We ascended the boardwalk trail in this well-forested area and were rewarded for our efforts with a beautiful view of Wrangell waiting for us at the top. After descending Mount Dewey, some of us shopped in the local stores, while others visited the Wrangell Museum to learn more about the history of this place.
Just as the rain began to fall in earnest, we made our way back to the ship. We finished off the day with a taste of Alaska at cocktail hour, featuring Alaska made chocolate, kelp salsa, smoked salmon, and locally distilled spirits. This was followed by a true feast of Dungeness crab, and an after-dinner presentation by photo instructor Paul on cell phone photography. We are so excited to see what tomorrow brings for our voyage!