Prince of Wales Island – Alaska

This huge log claw is displayed outside Thorne Bay on the east side of the island. The only logging, now, is done by the Native Americans. I don’t know when the other logging stopped but you can see the harvested areas all over the island. Most of it has regrown but we saw some today that looked fairly recent; like within the last couple of years.

We decided to see what a Prince of Wales gravel road was like. So we went from Thorne Bay to Coffman Cove, both on the east side, on Sandy Beach Road. This is Sandy Beach Picnic area. We decided it should be renamed to Driftwood Beach. Pick out a piece of driftwood and we’ll use that big log claw to get it for you.
We saw some great creeks along the way, full of salmon, of course!

We stayed at Oceanview RV Park & Campground, in Coffman Cove, last night. Don decided to take the rake out to the beach, at low tide, to see what he could find. It was raining and I took this pic with our phone – that’s my excuse for the blur. These are cockles. We didn’t eat any because we couldn’t find an ‘r’ in August. We asked the manager, later, and she said they haven’t had any red tides so they should be okay. She said if you taste them and your tongue tingles, don’t eat them. The way he found them was, he noticed a squirt of water come out of the ground and that’s where he dug with the rake. We also saw small sand piles with a single hole in the top. But those must have been down really deep because we didn’t find anything when he dug there. It was funny to watch the ground squirt all over the place.
This is a pretty good sized black bear crossing the Yakut River. I guess he didn’t want to get his paws wet? Although, he walked down the edge of the river (in the water), up to the log, crossed on the log and then kept walking through the water along the other side. I don’t know how a bear thinks. We were standing on a bridge, maybe 40 above the river, to watch him. He made his way up river by crossing under the bridge (thankfully). We could see his trail so we were pretty sure where he was going to walk. He’s probably walked that same trail all his life. We didn’t see him catch any fish but he did eat some berries and sit down and scratch a little bit.
Here’s a collection of berries that we’ve been eating (just so you know what to report to the doctor if they call you about us being too sick to talk – just kidding!) We ask a local before we eat too many :-). The berries on the left are Thimble berries. I took one off and laid it upside down on the leaf. When it comes off, it leaves the seed pod on the stem; leaving a bowl-shaped cluster of berries to eat. The middle branch is a red huckleberry. And the branch on the right has been called a blueberry. But, from the tart taste, I think it is also a huckleberry. I like the Thimble berries the best.
This is part of Ball’s Lake. It has a nice boardwalk trail for about 1/2 mile around it. There are lilly pads growing in it and it looks like maybe beavers or muskrats are working in it. We are camped at Eagle’s Nest Campground (Forest Service). The trail from the campground goes to the lake but we can’t really see the lake from the campground (unless you look through the trees and squint a little).
This is our campsite in Eagle’s Nest Campground ($8/night). It looks, and smells, like old-growth forest. I found some mushrooms but they are not the kind to eat. Today has been mostly cloudy with just a little rain. It was probably in the 60’s today. We ran the heater all night, last night because it was cold (we had electricity). It doesn’t feel as cold here tonight though.


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