Thursday, July 11, 2013

Misty Fjords from the air and visits by friends

During Chris's visit we took a float plane trip over Misty Fjords.   One of the benefits for employees is a reciprocal arrangment between the various tour companies to take employees, on standby status, on their tours.  I was able to fly free so we only had one ticket to buy.

Areas of muskeg
Besides being an adventure, Chris loves all kinds of transportation equipment from trains to planes to antique and specialty cars.  He had fun photographing the planes and quizzing the pilot on models, modifications etc.   How he remembers all those details of kinds of equipment is way beyond me. 

It was great for me because I could see for myself the alpine environment and the amount of area covered in muskeg.  Although I had learned about the alpine lakes and the muskeg, reading and hearing about them is not the same as seeing them.  
Granite and snow, high in Misty Fjords National Monument

Inside the float plane
New Edystone Rock, volcanic plug in Behm Canal.   Thru the windows of the plane, on a grey day, its not very sharp and clear.   But the plug is 237 feet high and the rocky beach around it, making a semi-crescent shape varies depending on the tides.  It ranges from a few feet at the base of the spire at a very high tide to a much longer crescent at a minus tide.

Glacial lakes dot the inland areas

Pennock Island from the air

Weather was quite grey that day so photos don't "pop", but here are a few to give you an idea of the planes, the view from them, and some bald eagles we photographed since we had time to kill before hand.  As usual, I hate being late.  We were given a time which I figured was the boarding time and thought we should plan to be there at least a half hour in advance.  Turned out we were given the arrival time.  So, we were about 40 minutes early.   It was a bit of a repeat of my childhood.  I was rushing Chris to get ready just as my dad used to rush my mom....and then we were so early we had to amuse ourselves with another activity.   In our case, that meant walking to a nearby salmon processing plant.   Since the entrails and heads get thrown out into the water, this is a favorite spot for eagles.   I have included a few photos.  All of them are bald eagles; the white heads and tails and gold eyes come with maturity.  The dark, motled birds are immature bald eagles but not this years.  This years are still downy chicks, not yet ready to fly.   The birds do not mature until they are 4-5 years old when they will take on the distinctive white head and tail. 

Bald Eagle coming in for landing


Immature Bald Eagle on tied logs and mature about to land

Bald Eagle sits along the shoreline

Besides the visit from Chris, I have had several other visitors.  One morning as we were loading the smaller boat for the trip up George Inlet to the old, now defunct salmon cannery, who should walk down the dock but Daryce and Kim Walton.   These are old friends from my days working in Antioch.  Lee, Daryce's husband was the City Manager there and hired me.   Lee had skipped the tour but we made arrangments to meet back at the dock when I finished my work day and we enjoyed a beer together.   After leaving Antioch, Lee and Daryce moved to Bainbridge Island in WA and Lin and I visited there a couple of times and I visited on my own later.   It was fun to see them.
Then my cousin Bonnie wrote to say her good friend Kathie and her husband would be coming in by cruise ship.  Although that was a work day for me, I had a late shift.  Kathie and I met for coffee in the early morning.  Although we had met at various functions with Bonnie, we had never had much time to get acquainted.  The idea was to meet and I would give her info on things to see and do in Ketchikan.  We ended up having a couple cups of coffee and lots of conversation.   We plan to get together when I get back to the Bay Area.
That same day Mary and Elaine were due in on their cruise.  They have been to Ketchikan several times and didn't need any local sightseeing info.  I left Kathie to explore on her own and headed to the little bakery\coffee shop where I told Mary and Elaine I would meet them.  These are RV friends who I see at various places around the west and whose wedding I attended in 2008.   We had about an hour and a half to visit, starting with more coffee (I was wired for work that day) and then they walked me to my dock and we took our time and visited along the way and on the deck overlooking the dock. 

1 comment:

Sherry + Jim White said...

The Eagle shots were amazing Jim and I are jealous!!

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