Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Tunnel


  A few years ago I was working at the boat haul out getting some plank work done, when the shipwright, John Kveum, mentioned the location of an outhouse across from the haul out. It was tucked away in a little bit of an alcove under the towering rock wall of what we here in Hoonah know as the tunnel. There were rocks all around the base of the outhouse, and of course I had to do a blog post about it. The idea that people would get beaned while on the way to a porta-potty kind of tickled me. I have a strange sense of humor. Anyway, the next year, they moved the potties. Probably wisdom to do so. I spotted some fairly good rocks where it had been residing, and if one of those had hit the outhouse when you were in there, if you didn't have to crap when you got there, you'd probably have to afterwards. I guess last year there was a few more rocks falling off the face of the tunnel and there was a fear that a tourist might get hit by one and of course that would be bad for business. Apparently it's OK if a resident gets hit- we don't count. In typical fashion, when someone else is footing the bill it's easier to go with the deluxe version of something than if you had to fork out all the money yourself. As you can see, the bottom picture is what the tunnel looked like before the blasting, scraping and hauling started. Instead of just taking off some of the loose stuff, or taking the rock back a few feet, they've totally overhauled the whole blasted tunnel. I'd say its just a bit of overkill. It reminds me of a time when I was stationed in Charleston South Carolina. I was out hunting squirrels at the Old Tail Race Canal. There was a stretch of woods there with big oak trees and plenty of squirrels, to say nothing of mass numbers of poisonous snakes, fire ants and spiders. I'm sure there were plenty of other things that nightmares are made of, but I didn't want to look too close. I never would have gone hunting otherwise. Anyway, I was sitting on a log on a fine fall afternoon waiting for the squirrels to start moving. They always came out of the trees late in the day and scampered around the ground looking for acorns. There were years worth of dry leaves on the ground and I could always pinpoint where the squirrels were by the scuffling sound of the leaves. The day was warm and as I sat on the log, I was getting a little sleepy. I was right on the verge of dozing off when I heard a noise in leaves close by. It wasn't a squirrel though- not big enough. Not a lizard either, it was moving too slow, but there was definitely something moving over the leaves. I decided  to investigate. I had only gone a few yards when I saw the largest spider I've ever seen walking across those dry leaves. It was big enough to make noise when it walked. To say the least, I freaked out. I didn't want that monster sneaking up on me when I was all engrossed in shooting some game, or snoozing, so I did the only logical thing I could do- I shot it. I had a twelve gauge shot gun loaded with number six shot and I unleashed it on that sapsucker. Was it overkill? Probably so. Did I have any regrets though? Certainly not! Back to the work on the tunnel. Was it really  necessary to take off half the mountain to keep a few rocks from coming down? I don't think so. Is it overkill? Undoubtedly.  Will it even be done before the first ships arrive? Can't say, don't really care. It would actually be kind of nice if it wasn't. It would be fairly peaceful in town in the summer for a change. Maybe I could start a new business for the days when fishing was slow- Tom's Tours and Water Taxi. In any event, I'm sure there's a lesson to be learned here. You don't need a howitzer to kill a spider- even a big one. A twelve gauge will do... or even a big stick; and you don't need dynamite to remove a few rocks, but what the hell, if someone else is paying, why not go for the gold?


  1. Yuck! I would not want to run into a spide big enough to rustle leaves!!! And that's going to be so weird seeing the tunnel like that...just a bit of overkill!

  2. Yeah, I didn't much care for being around spiders like that. It's one of the downfalls of living in a warm climate- the bugs thrive as well as the plants. Not sure when they'll be done with the tunnel. Lots of changes for sure.