N55 48′ 32.7", W133 07′ 28.8"

The Chamber of Commerce did a great job of selling this place! I don’t know how long ago the “brochure” was published, but I hope those people were paid well! We stopped to see Sarkar Rapids. Sarkar Lake is the terminus of a lot of connected lakes for a canoe route. The lake empties into the ocean via these rapids. Yeah, I know, that doesn’t look like rapids to us either. So, it must be high tide! The water is flowing into the lake in the first pic.

We came back at low tide. Now we can see the rapids! And, yes, there ARE salmon in here but we couldn’t find a good way down to it.

Beach camping…the brochure says there is beach camping at Exchange Cove…let’s GO! The gravel road is a good one and we made good time on it. We came to Neck Lake. It is a 3-mile lake that stretches across a narrow neck of the island. I think the neck is only 5 or 6 miles across at this point and 3 of those miles is this lake. This is a pic of the coho hatchery. They plant them and then harvest the fish at the falls before they go up to the lake. We also looked for a good way to get down to the hole below the falls but no luck.
The gravel road got a little narrower and rougher after Whale Pass but it was still pretty good – if you don’t mind going 10 mph for 10 miles.
Hokie Dokie – here’s the beach camping – where’s the beach? Maybe it will show up when the tide goes down? Well, it was sort of a beach 🙂 lots of gravel and we didn’t see any clams. It was a quiet evening and quiet sleeping. We were above the high tide line.

I think that’s enough touring around the north end of the island for this week. We didn’t go to the extreme north end. We ran into a local, who gave us LOTS of information. He said the road up to Point Baker is a good one; freshly grated. The residents up there don’t use it so it should be good until next summer. They all use boats. The local was from the town of Whale Pass. Apparently the Whale Pass town council didn’t want too many tourists coming through town so they didn’t pay to have their roads grated this year. According to him, the worst roads around are in Whale Pass. (Maybe the Chamber doesn’t exist anymore – they must be frustrated.) We talked to another Whale Pass resident when we asked for directions to Exchange Cove. He tried not to show a strange reaction when he asked, “Why do you want to go there?” Don came up with something other than, “Because the brochure says there is ‘beach camping’ there.” He told us, in his Elko-NV-Basque accent, to “turn right before the broken-down bus.” He SURE likes bunnies! They are ALL over town.

We’ve seen lots of Sitka Blacktail deer on the island; does and fawns. We found a new berry today. It is a “frosty-blue currant”; according to the local who told us about the roads. He also called it a “stinky currant” because of the smell of the leaf. We didn’t think it smelled bad. Maybe he was just makin’ stuff up? They are sweet but have a lot of pulp. Apparently they make a good jelly but not jam. We overheard a conversation, on the ferry ride, about good places to eat on the island. The first one he suggested was a little hot dog stand near Whale Pass. When the couple gave him a blank stare he suggested the only restaurant, which is in Craig.
I’m not sure where we are….oh, yes I do, we are at N55 48′ 32.7″, W133 07′ 28.8″ Dinner tonight will be thimble berry pancakes and rabbit (just kidding about the rabbit).


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