Alaska 2013, Day 60, Wrangell Day 1
Wednesday July 31, 2013
We opted to stay in Shumaker City Park. It is a little ways out of town. It is small, 15 sites, but they are all wooded and grass and we had electricity, a fire ring and a great view of the water.
They had Cheryl pull the jeep front end into the ferry bow and parked a tractor behind her. They unloaded me pretty fast to get me out of the way but didn't realize she was unloading in Wrangell because they couldn't see the destination sticker on the windshield. Cheryl had to ask to get off so she was really late getting off the ferry. I thought she had gotten off the ferry ahead of me and here she almost got stuck riding to Ketchikan!
We drove downtown to the Nolan Visitor Center so I could get a map of where Petroglyph Beach, Totem Park and Chief Shake's House was. There was a big cruise ship at the downtown dock today. They said they don't get may big cruise ships in Wrangell because the town hadn't developed the way the cruise companies wanted (cruise companies buy up all the stores and evidently people here were resistant to do that). They say they get smaller ships. You can see that there is money coming in. There are some new buildings at the dock, new road, curbs and sidewalks downtown. It looked like there was a few businesses being rehabbed.
We hiked to the top of Mt Dewey. It is a short hike (1/4 mi) with a lot of steps that climbs the mountain just outside of downtown. Good view of town from up top, sunny and clear again today. We have had 4 days of clear and sun.
The totem park has 3 really old totems. It is on the main road through downtown, between the visitor center and the Chief Shake's.
Chief Shake's House
Chief Shake's Tribal House is a new Tlingit clan house built on the oldest clan house in Alaska. It was just rededicated this year. Really pretty, worth seeing. It sounds like they had a huge ceremony when it was completed and indians from all over Alaska and BC came, almost 1000. The governor sent a state ferry over to house the visitors since they had no place to put up everyone. I talked with the elder and he said it was the only clan house built in the last 5 years. Now Hoonah is considering building one. You can tour the house for free. 2 times daily they put on some dancing and story telling. We attended one of the performances they put on for the cruise passengers.
Outside of town there are 40 - 50 carvings on the beach rock. They think it is a couple thousand years old but they don't know exactly. The carvings are hard to find and although they have built a nice observation platform the beach is covered in broken glass.