We had a short trip south today from Wrangell to Berg Bay. As we cruised, the sun popped out and we were dazzled by the colors that shone around us. Suddenly, the landscape came alive with bright blues and greens. It felt as though we were transported from Alaska to the Caribbean. We passed along close to the shoreline and admired the moss and lichen covered forests. The dense wilderness had an air of mystery to it today.
Berg bay is a beautiful, quiet anchorage. The still water and many small islands and inlets make it a kayaker’s paradise. There is also a small A-frame cabin that is available for rent from the forest service. From all of the crab pots and fishing boats we saw nearby, the fishing must be great as well! Arriving in the bay early, we had plenty of time to explore on shore.
Two hikes led up from the small beach where we left our dinghies. The shorter, drier trail with the well-maintained boardwalk led to a beautiful lagoon full of recent bear activity. The longer trail supposedly led to a creek, but after about a mile the dense wood and boggy, slippery trail caused us to turn around. Still, the hike was quite the adventure! We had it all: boot sucking mud, stream crossings, wading through high grasses, eating wild blueberries and investigating the plants and animal signs we found.
This forest was very different than the others we had walked through so far. We passed through sections of bog, with standing water covering the ground. Giant Skunk Cabbage plants covered the trail. Most of the trees were stunted due to the oversaturation of the ground. Thick layers of moss covered the trees and forest floor. The air was humid, and it felt as though we were traveling through a jungle! Finally, the trail opened up on a lagoon and meadow.
The evening ended with a wonderful potluck meal hosted aboard Deception and Bonum Vitae. Each crew cooked up delicious dishes, and we shared a night of great food and great company. The party was a perfect way to get to know the new crew members that just joined us. This is a very diverse group, with many different backgrounds and areas of expertise, but we all share a love for what we are doing. We are all here to experience the wilderness, beauty and authenticity of Alaska that can only be seen by breaking out on one’s own and getting onto the road less traveled.