The Road to 65, Mile 193: Southeast IS Northwest, Day Two in Wrangell

June 9, 2015, Wrangell- Baron Ferdinand’s little town has grown in my heart, already.  The little family with whom I have been staying is engaging and solicitous.  The community of Baha’i friends, likewise, has spared no warmth and consideration.  That there is amazing scenery around every corner in southeast Alaska doesn’t hurt, either.

I spent the day alternating between hikes and community get-togethers.  The morning began with a walk up to Rainbow Falls, a delectable slice of Tongass National Forest,  four miles south of Wrangell.

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The trail is .6 miles long, and features about 200 steps, mostly on a planked trail.  Wrangell planks its trails, so as to avoid people having to hike in the mud.

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The Tongass is Alaska’s primary temperate canopied rain forest.

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As with any canopied forest, the importance of the forest floor is huge.IMG_0819

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This is the first view of the creek that is fed by the Falls.IMG_0823

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The hanging moss resembles a squirrel tail.IMG_0831

This moss-covered stump, on the other hand, resembles a woolly mammoth.IMG_0832

The first view of Rainbow Falls is the best.IMG_0837

Looking westward, from the trail’s end, gives one another spectacular  view of Fool’s Inlet and Etolin Island, west of Wrangell.IMG_0838

After hiking down, I went downtown and purchased a freshly-made raspberry rhubarb pie, all the better to treat my host family, whilst helping another Baha’i family in its fundraiser for their daughter’s Homecoming Queen candidacy.  Of course, the proceeds would help her with higher education expenses, after high school, as well.  It looks like the pies, and their slices, were selling as fast as they were being delivered.

Following a brief after-lunch rest, I took in Wrangell’s Nolan Museum, devoted to island history, geology and artifacts.

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This is a Tlingit orca mask.

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I couldn’t decide whether this quartz crystal resembled a Sphinx, or Yoda.

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Wrangell school children sometimes have garnet hunts, and sell the gems for fundraising.IMG_0859

This display shows a traditional Wrangell Island sein and fishing kayak.IMG_0866

Petroglyph Beach, north of Wrangell, was my last nature excursion of the day.

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The basalt and shale along this rather temperate beach availed themselves to those wanting to carve messages, over the centuries.IMG_0871

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This smooth slate has not, as yet, drawn a lot of attention.

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I’m told that much of the rock art is on this area, and is only reachable at low tide.

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True to form, i found a heart waiting for me, on Petroglyph Beach.

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In the evening, I attended another Baha’i gathering, and met the Queen of the House.

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Her entourage was also quite feisty.

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So ended my two-day visit to an amazing little town.  I get the sense that the next three towns on my itinerary will be equally special, in their way.  Is there any such thing as a place that isn’t special?

4 thoughts on “The Road to 65, Mile 193: Southeast IS Northwest, Day Two in Wrangell

  1. Wrangell looks like a lovely little city — the forest with its nurse log, the hiking, the museum of wonderful artifacts, the petroglyphs — all make it very special.

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  2. I find the petroglyphs and native artwork intriguing. I wonder what the artwork on the Rainbow Falls sign is intended to depict? It looks like you’re having a great time in Alaska.

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  3. The totem sign at Rainbow Falls is that of the bear, which guards the Falls. I saw no bears, during my time in Alaska, but my friend in Wrangell has seen a black bear, rummaging fro food, in the ledge area- 50 feet below where he was.

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