Liska - June 2001

Misty Fiords National Monument, east of Ketchikan, Alaska
, is a
spectacular place of sheer granite walls towering thousands of feet high
above deep narrow glacier-carved fiords and quiet valleys. It was to
this magical place that Dick and I went to on a friend’s boat. We had
driven from Anchorage 700 miles to Haines, the coastal town at the top
of the Inland Passage. We left our car there and boarded the Alaska
ferry. After 28 hours we arrived in the middle of the night at the small
fishing village of Petersburg (between Juneau and Ketchikan). On the
deserted dark streets, we walked the mile from the ferry dock to the
small boat harbor and found Larry and Gail’s 36-foot long cabin cruiser.
The next day we took off on our 12-day adventure. We spent the whole
time cruising the fiords, narrow passages, and channels of the Inland
Passage. Most of the time we saw no other boats or people. We did see
whales, porpoises, seals, bears, deer, eagles, and thousands of birds.
The vegetation was lush with dense rain forests, muskeg (peat bogs), and
alpine meadows. The waterfalls were astounding ... countless and long
long long ... they fell forever from the top of the sheer cliffs down to
the water. Every night we anchored in a peaceful scenic bay or cove, set
out our crab and shrimp pots, and ogled at the scenery and wildlife. To
get to land, we launched an inflatable raft and rowed to shore. Hiking
in this part of Alaska is somewhat challenging. Trails are few and far
between. When we did find a trail, we had to hike in knee-high rubber
boots because all the trails are muddy and vegetation is wet. The trails
are obstacle courses of huge exposed roots, large rocks, downed trees,
small creeks, slippery moss, and slimy boardwalks. Signs of bear were
almost everywhere, so we had to be super alert. Needless to say, we did
not get much exercise! The weather was typical southeast Alaska weather:
wet, cloudy, drizzly, rainy. However, the sun did actually show up on
two separate days! Altogether, it was a truly unique opportunity to see
a rare and wild part of Alaska in a very personal way. We feel very