Heroes Answer the Call
Listening to the weather forecast on the marine radio channel this morning in the pouring cold rain did nothing to lighten my spirits. From the sound of things, the high pressure system I am needing in order to cross Dixon Entrance wont be here until next week. Meanwhile, the rain that was supposed to be gone by late morning continues to fall heavily then not-so-heavily, but never none at all. I got very sad. I felt trapped. It is raining so hard that for the first time I don’t have enough dry wood to run the wood cook stove, and I’m down to one jet fuel can. I used a little from that to make tea. Since I haven’t done anything more active than ten minutes of jumping jacks, running in place, and sit-ups to stay warm every couple of hours, I haven’t been hungry but I managed to eat a handful of trail mix and some freeze-dried blueberries to have some calories to help with body temperature management.
I read, played guitar (much as I can with wet pruney fingers), meditated, and still my problem remained – I can’t cross Dixon until next week at the earliest. So what do I do? When Con tried contacting water taxi services with the idea of me getting a ride from here to Prince Rupert, the only person she spoke with who was remotely interested in the human side of my plight was Will with the Metlakatla tribe here in Alaska. So I got his contact number from her and called. He was out ill today, so I got Mary. Mary suggested I call JoAnne, and JoAnne suggested I contact the Head Fishing Officer, Roger. Roger told me he could probably figure something out with the fire chief, and would get back to me.
Roger and Desmond (fire chief) will be picking me up tomorrow morning between 9:30 and 10. They will take me back to Metlakatla where I have booked the last available room at the Inn tomorrow night. Then I will take the ferry from Metlakatla to Ketchikan Thursday afternoon, stay at an AirBnB Thursday night, and then take the ferry from Ketchikan to Prince Rupert Friday. That will get me to Prince Rupert only two days later than my original target date. I will miss paddling myself from here at Foggy Bay to Canada, but I prefer that to any more days in a soggy tent on a soggy beach, going through supplies meant for paddling. Maybe some day I’ll come back and just do the paddle between the two points!
Both last year and this year I wanted to stop at Metlakatla, but was too single-minded/focussed on making miles. I am thrilled to get a second chance! I was beginning to think the kindness of strangers was gone from this place. I’m glad to be wrong. For humanity as much as for my own predicament.