Wrangell to Petersburg
We got our wish: A sunny day for our trip to Petersburg.
Before loading time we took a hike on the Rainbow Falls trail. Another hike through a beautiful rain forest, but this one had 500 feet of elevation gain over .6 miles. The CCC had built (now maintained by the NFS) steps up the steepest part – 538 in all. Nice walk; it was good to be out walking after two days of rain.
We took care of household matters at the town harbor parking lot and visited for a brief time with Chris, the gentleman whom we had met two days before. As a parting gift he sent us away with some shrimp and smoked salmon.
The ferry trip was a pleasure after our grey, dismal ones. It seemed almost festive as so many people were out on deck enjoying the sun and the beauty of the Wrangell Narrows – as a name implies, a very narrow stretch the ferry has to navigate between Wrangell and Petersburg. This narrow, shallow area is why the big cruise ships don’t come to these towns. We probably saw as many eagles today as we have seen in a lifetime. Since it was low tide, there were mudflats on either side of the ship. At one point, there must have been 50 eagles “fishing” the side of the water and a tiny white dog yapping at them trying to herd them away. Silly dog – I am sure any one of those eagles could have taken him out if so desired.
Petersburg is a tidier looking Wrangell. After exiting the ferry we drove south on the Mitkof Highway (lined with lupine, deer, and one porcupine) to the Ohmer State Forest Campground — another NFS campground with widely separated, flat sites in among the ferns and skunk cabbage. Unfortunately the sign said that because of budget cutbacks there was no trash service (pack it out), no open outhouses, and no tested water source. No problem for one night or two. Dinner was a smoked salmon (thank you Chris), crackers, and broccoli.
Ohmer NFS Campground Review: Large, well-spaced, mostly level sites. No services currently being offered. No fees being collected. A bit swampy in areas so the mosquitoes were plentiful. No one else spent the night there that night.