Posts Tagged ‘Indian Canoes’

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 4

July 12th, 2010

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log: June 14-September 14, 1971 by Ardis Hyde

(Ardis, David and Philip Hyde in Their Camper. Continued from the blog post, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 3.”)

Part Four: Ketchikan to Wrangell, Alaska

Forest of Snags, Chichagof Island, Alaska, 1971 by Philip Hyde.

June 24, 1971: I woke up at 7 am and announced sunshine, our first since Victoria six days ago. Philip broke out his 4X5 for the first time on the trip and headed out towards Ward Lake on the nature trail. He was happy to get the ground dogwood on 4X5. From there we retraced our route, stopping at the Lilly Pad lakes for a photograph with the mountain background reflected. Back to town for food shopping while David and Philip scrambled along the rocks of the rip-rap.  Drove up the hill to a small community college where the Bald Eagles were abundant. Went to the Ferry landing to check in at 12 noon.

(Note: The photographs mentioned have not yet been drum scanned for fine are digital printing or to appear here or on the Philip Hyde website.)

We had a long wait before boarding. Finally we drove onto the Ferry but it didn’t get underway until about 3:15 pm. Skies were still clear with clouds in streaks across the heavens but not in the way of the brilliant sun. The ferry this time was called the Matanuska, smaller than the Wickersham and easy to find our way around in with a central stairwell next to which the camper was parked. The ferry was late starting and late to arrive in Wrangell, Alaska. David found a boy his age to play paper airplane with. While I took a pay shower, Philip made 2 ¼ pictures of the route. Totem Bight Park was visible in the distance.

The scenery became more interesting as we entered Stikine Strait. As we approached Chichagof Pass, part of Wrangell was visible with the highest mountains yet, visible on the skyline. Some were smooth white domes of snow. One in particular was a jagged rock crest, probably Castle Mountain. We rounded Wronski Island and the mountains almost ringed the horizon in nearly every direction, with their splendid white summits. It was beginning to really look like Alaska. Philip took a 120 photograph of Boundary Peaks.

After docking around 8:45 pm, we backed off of the Ferry among the first. The light was low and mellow and it was warm and beautiful as we drove off. Philip made the first photograph at Shakes Island. His composition contained another Indian Ceremonial House surrounded by flowering trees and Totem poles. At low tide then, mud flats surrounded the island. Bright fishing boats crowded the harbor docks. The town seems tiny with many older frame houses retaining some degree of charm. Heavy moss grew on some shingle roofs. Totem poles erected here and there around town. New looking Stikine Lodge on filled ground at the water’s edge. Two lumber mills operating in town and another south of town. Proceeded out south to Pat Creek Campground. Houses occasionally all the way, forests cleared on the water side, logging stumps on the other. Not much hint of wilderness left.

June 25, 1971: We woke up late at 7:45 am. Rain again after only one day of sunshine. The gloomy skies lifted by 1:30 pm, though. We spent the morning leisurely doing chores, Philip packing film to mail, David building a Lego chainsaw and logging. Then he changed to being captain of the Wickersham with his raincoat and billed hat on, passing out “waterproof tickets” that were pieces of his raincoat material found in his pocket. We had popcorn and hot chocolate for lunch. After pulling out of this logged-over Forest Service Campground, we stopped at the roadside to look at tiny flowers. Philip made close-ups with his 35 mm camera of a heather-like plant, lichen, fern fronds, and other ground cover. We made more stops on the route back to town. David was asleep and the rain stopped. Then we stopped at the water’s edge where the forest curtain is still intact. We walked out on the beach to discover it was very different from Ketchikan. Here large boulders of fine grain granite are imbedded in a ground of small rounded rocks that are white, grey and dark slate. At this spot Philip took pictures of the beach rocks and their backdrop of forest, which is an abrupt wall that begins at the high tide mark. At the next picture stop, Philip caught some light, wispy waterfalls at the road edge.

A brief stop for groceries in town after we looked in vain for petroglyphs a mile south of the city park as stated in Milepost. No trouble finding the petroglyphs at the north end of town location at the end of the boardwalk. We had help from a neighborhood boy, Lance Koenig, who came up to the car and asked, “May I be of service?” He took us right to the petroglyph rocks. Then he and David had a marvelous time throwing rocks at tin cans they set up on boulders, knocking them into the incoming tide. This tide had covered we didn’t know how many of the petroglyphs, but Philip took photographs of those still out. An old rusty carpenter’s plane was resting on a drift log. David brought it back to the camper and set about at dinner to plane everything around. He was also absorbed in being the captain of a cruise ship, Philip and I being his crew. He got himself all decked out in navy blue jeans, raincoat and Davy’s old ski hat. (Davy refers to David Lee Hyde who was Philip Hyde’s brother and David Leland Hyde’s namesake. He was killed in the Korean War.) After petroglyphs, we drove out airport road as far as we could for more photographs of the dwarf forest with ponds in the foreground and peaks behind. At the Ferry dock we found out we couldn’t board the next Ferry because it was the Wickersham, which was too large to load vehicles at Wrangell. We walked around the docks, put David down, then walked some more. We heard the high school band coming from somewhere. Turned out they were escorting and welcoming the cruise ship Arcadia that was circling the outer harbor because it was too big to land. A very festive and lively scene with assorted small craft maneuvering across the horizon as well. Tried to wake up David but not possible. Philip made more photographs around the breakwater and as we went through a dripping jungle of thimble berries.

June 26, 1971: Glad to see some breaks in the sky and faint sunlight early in the day. Bought a half pound of fresh pink shrimp from the cannery right from the man loading them into cans to be frozen…

CONTINUED IN THE BLOG POST, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 5.”

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 1

March 29th, 2010

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log: June 14-September 14, 1971 By Ardis Hyde

(Ardis, David and Philip Hyde in Their Avion Camper on a GMC 3/4 ton Utility Body Pickup)

Part One: Northern California to British Columbia

Mt. Lassen from Manzanita Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California by Philip Hyde.

(See photograph full screen: Click Here.)

June 14:  Left home at 8:15 am. Sunny with scattered puffy clouds. North to Susanville, through Adin to Alturas. Brief lunch stop along roadside. David piled out with his “new” twin lens reflex camera (out of commission) and tripod Philip gave him. David’s purpose was to “take pictures of flowers.” Marvelous to behold David’s detailed imitations of his father. He woke up knowing this was the day we were leaving for Alaska. “My head is shaking because I’m so excited.” The land showed beautiful lush green evidence of the wet season we’ve had. The pluvial lakes were all extra high as well as many no-name lakes in low places. Farm country, range cattle and open space. First open range, bluffs of lava flows, then into lodgepole pine forest. Spent the night at Lava Butte, Oregon in the planted pine forest for possible pics in the morning. The Three Sisters, Bachelor Butte, Mt. Brokeoff all snow-covered.

June 15:  Woke up about 6 am and drove up toward the top of Lava Butte, but the gate was closed until 9:30 am. Started out on foot, David and Philip with their cameras and tripods over their shoulders. A park ranger stopped and gave us a ride to the top. On foot again we circled the crater, David and Philip taking pictures of good views of the peaks including Mt. Shasta and Mt. Theilsen. Into Bend, Oregon to Jerry’s Trailer Supply to see about repairing the Camper’s Monomatic Toilet that had been leaking. Philip bought the faulty valve and repaired the toilet himself. I grocery shopped in the meantime. North to Madras where we turned into the Warm Springs Reservation to go swimming at Ka-Nee-Ta again. David enthusiastic and worked hard practicing swimming. Leaving the reservation we were treated to masses of wild flowers in all directions: Mules Ears or Wyethia especially abundant, lupine and buckwheat grass lush everywhere. Snow-topped Mt. Jefferson was glorious. North to Dalles Bridge. Wheat fields turning gold. David woke up from a nap in his bunk over the cab, just as we crossed the Columbia River, looking upstream at Celilo Dam (Dalles Dam) that submerged the once mighty Celilo Falls. After dinner we drove on to Yakima State Park, Washington, on the banks of the Yakima River.

June 16:  Before leaving Yakima State Park, David had a swing and play on the equipment nearby. Beautiful clear morning going over Snoqualmie Pass. Cold, lots of old snow, some fog on top. Into Seattle traffic lineup across Lake Washington floating bridge. Into worse congestion trying to reach parking lot at Seattle Center.  Finally found our way around traffic by going way around Queen Anne Hill to get to the other side of the city. We rode downtown on the Monorail. Shopped at the REI Coop, then returned to Seattle Center. We walked through the Fire Engine Museum. David chose a fire engine to ride on in the nearby concession. Just made it to Mukeliteo in time to get on the ferry to Columbia Beach on Whidbey Island. We drove the length of Whidbey Island in late sunlight to Deception Bay State Park (Deception Pass State Park). At Deception Bay State Park we ate a quick dinner at Rosario Beach while watching a couple put on all their diving equipment. We walked down the beach and around the headland as we had on a previous visit. David enjoyed the tide pools and rock scrambling.

June 17:  Caught the 8 am ferry from Anacortes. Another perfect sunny day with the water glassy and smooth. Ferry stopped at Lopez Island and Orcas Island, then on to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. At Sidney, Vancouver Island, no trouble with customs. They only wanted to know about stone fruits and didn’t want to look into anything else. In Victoria we parked downtown and walked to the harbor, tourist information and the Provincial Museum. Also parked on Government Street and looked around in the shops. Parking lots and streets were nearly empty. Canadians very pleasant and the lack of automobile traffic is refreshing. The Provincial Museum exhibited Indian Canoes, Totem Poles, Lodges and many other artifacts. We bought David a small hand-carved dugout canoe.

June 18:  North up Vancouver Island on Canada Route 1 in intermittent rain. Drove into Goldstream Park to admire the lush, undisturbed rain forest. Around Comax, development has reduced the charm and the natural setting. Pulled into Miracle Beach Campground. Picked out a campsite on Maple Lane. They were all like private rooms with leafy walls and ceiling. Rain stopped, so we cooked hotdogs over alder wood fire. We walked out to the beach of large pebbles and many driftwood logs. Coming back we wound around a network of trails through the woods. The wild roses were the largest we have ever seen, as big as Philip’s hand. Found a flame-colored honeysuckle, foam flower and other delicate white blossoms in the deep shade. Mosquitoes are bad here.

June 19: At Black Creek we stopped to walk along driftwood on the beach and rocks of the breakwater out to an old ship hull beached in the sand. David was singing and beachcombing along the way. Soon his pockets were bulging with crab skeletons, shells and driftwood.  When we returned to the Camper, he arranged them in a display in his “studio.” David sleeps in the bed above the cab and rides up there sometimes while we are driving. He calls it his “studio.” He is also very busy building a float plane with Nuts and Bolts and a ferry and a fire boat out of Lego. Lunch at Elk Falls in Strathcona Provincial Park. Philip walked to the overlook. He said there was only a trickle of water because it had been diverted for the hydro-electric works. Up to Middle Lake and across the crest of the mountains. Everywhere logging and fire scars but many small lakes covered with blooming water lilies. Some light rain, but a stiff south wind raised the clouds until we could see the snow patched mountain peaks. The Strait of Georgia narrows and the opposite shore was close, with the dark red vertical faces of the mountains, and forests on their layered shelves, all easily visible. Made another stop for the view down into Crown and Zellerback’s Duncan Bay Mill and Pulp Plant, a vast layout of mill, plant, sawdust barges, log booms and machinery with lots of activity and smoke emissions. No road sign for Morton Lake Park, missed it completely and the town too. Signs and even towns not visible where they were shown on the map, we’ve found is typical of British Columbia. Ended up camping in a gravel pit on the left side of the road. At least David had a big pile of white sand to play in.

June 20:  The Canadian ferry at Kelsey Bay depends on tides for its arrival and departure times…

(CONTINUED IN THE BLOG POST, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 2.”