Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Tour Guide







I know that I'm doing a blogger no- no by not staying up on top of it better. As I mentioned before, the busy season is upon me and I don't have the time to devote to this that I'm afforded in the winter time. I wanted to work on it the other day when I did have a few minutes, but the internet was down again. It's a fairly common experience here. What I don't understand is why I have to pay the same amount every month for service when it isn't available all the time. Basically I'm paying for something I didn't receive. That's like walking in to Mc Donalds and ordering a cheeseburger, and after you've paid for it, they bring out a burger with only one bun and the pickles missing. What the... If they can't get away with that, how do the internet providers? Another mystery of modern day life in Hoonah.
A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of taking a delightful trio of young ladies (including my daughter Jen) out for a trip up the bay. The school counselor had a friend from New York visiting and I offered to be the tour guide for the day. Several days prior to running them around, I had been up in Port Frederick fishing and saw three bears and three deer and a whale. One of the bears was a pretty well grown up cub who for whatever reason was still hanging around his mom. As the boat approached she ran just inside the woods and was bellowing at him- I assume so he would join her. Instead he proceeded to walk up the beach a ways and layed down and stretched out on his belly. Darn rebellious kids! As I was trolling down by Neka Bay I noticed a disturbance in the water and a deer came swimming by me about twenty yards away. We stared at each other for a few seconds in passing and each went on our way. Soooo... I figured that I would really impress my guests with some great photo opportunities of wildlife. For the next three or so hours I ran the beach. I even dumped in the gear and started trolling, hoping that the slow movement would increase our chances of seeing something. Not only did we not see anything all the way to the head of the bay, I couldn't even catch a fish. So much for booking a trip on Tom's Tremendous Tours. In desperation I took the boat behind Bell Island, a beautiful but shallow area that is really protected. There is a portage at the extreme end that you can walk through a little stretch of woods and go into Tenakee Inlet, a trip that would take six or more hours if you went there by boat. Finally, when it looked like the wildlife portion of the trip was going to be a complete failure, we spotted a bear at the edge of the woods eating some grass. Unfortunately there was a couple in a small rubber raft who spotted it also. They were trying to get close to get pictures, even shutting off their motor and paddling close to the beach. I didn't want to ruin their opportunity, so I stayed back aways, so I'm not sure how the girls' pictures turned out. On the way back to town we spotted a deer eating down on the beach, so the day wasn't a total failure. They both said how much they enjoyed the trip and it was nice to be given the chance to show some guests some of the beauty I enjoy. Several days later Jen went with me to sell some fish and snapped the picture of the ravens and eagles on the beach. I think the cold storage had ground up some black cod heads and guts. The fish is so oily that it floats on the water surface and when the tide receeds it's deposited on the beach which is just fine with the birds.

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