Alaska Report #6…Deep Places.

Wrangell was my favorite Alaskan place. Mostly for what I didn't see. I find when I visit a location--any location--the first thing one sees is, today. It is the "surface layer" that blankets all places, and most tourists never venture too far out from there. After all, it's the most "alive."

But beneath that, there is the terrain, which encompasses the nature of the place. Those who live here are more illusive. They live on different levels than the "today activities" that seem to stick mostly to today. The today people are interested in where they need to go next, who they might meet, and where's the best place to eat. All very good things, but they are not the only ones.

Living as close to nature as I have for the past two years, I have discovered that local animal populations not only have their own schedules, but also their own protocols.  What a surprise to find out they are interested in the same things we are. Where they need to go next, who they might meet, and where's the best place to eat. They are not stupid (far from it!)

Some days are hard
They know to differentiate days of the week enough to "lay low" (or go somewhere else) on weekends, when places like parks and waterfronts have a lot more people milling around. They actually spend a lot of time watching us, to figure out what we're doing, and if we are-- or aren't-- a danger. And what a surprise it has been to find out how communicative they are.

Did you know if you are passing a pigeon on the rail of a pathway, and look right at them they will fly away--but if you turn your head away as you pass-- they won't? That's how you communicate to them you are friendly and just passing by. They understand that. All of which is fascinating, and I could go on about animal behavior forever. But I wanted to tell you about another "place layer" that draws me even more, and that is the past.

Chisana Gold Rush couple
Who lived in  this same space and has gone on, already? Did they leave anything lasting that is still effecting us, today? I have found that the things left over from former times are often "connecting points" for not only trading knowledge, but for sharing amazing experiences, as well. Almost like time travel. The fact that the same kind of people are most often attracted to the same kinds of places makes those who have "gone before us" even more interesting. We usually like the same things.

So it was that I went to Wrangell, not looking so much at the today layer, as the what and when ones. It's a city that has drawn me most for its history--having been a major factor in all three gold rushes. (NOTE: For those of you just "coming aboard," I have a major case of gold fever, and it is one of the first things that draws me to a place.) That and the Stikine River, which is said to run through one of the last truly wild wilderness areas on the continent. One which its native Tlingets call "Deep North." 

All that to say I am ready to make my conclusions about this lovely "walking the route" experience I have been so blessed to take before we actually set our sails north aboard the Glory B within the next few weeks. I have seen what I came for, and it will be much easier to make so many of our all-important decisions, now. 

Which I will share with you, next time, as we are set for a 10pm ferry departure back to Juneau. More about Wrangell, then, too, as I felt I should explain about the "layers" before I went dragging you around in them. Oh, yes, and there was a "divine appointment" there, as well. Such fun I'm having!

Hugs and blessings,

(who is waving hello to my lovely family, today. "Ahoy, dear ones! Turning back, now, and should be headed for the Glory B sometime late tomorrow… can't wait to see all of you!")