Thursday, July 30, 2015

Petersburg, Alaska -- 7/7/2015

A Norwegian named Peter Buschmann built a cannery in Petersburg because of the nearby location of LeConte Glacier, from which he could get an ample supply of ice.  Petersburg is highly connected to Seattle (sister city?) because of shipping goods in and out.  The local grocery carries many Kirkland (Seattle) brand items.

One concern we have had on this entire trip is after leaving Anacortes, we may not be able to dispose of our garbage.  This became an issue for us in the last week, when we had to store our large bag in the sky box  – (lots of soiled paper towels mopping up galley spills – ugh!)  Here in Petersburg they compact, bale and load onto shipping containers their recyclables, as well as the garbage, which are then barged to Seattle for disposition.

There is much Norwegian history here, and I walk a few miles taking in much of the scenery and culture.

Starting with Nordic Drive to Birch Street, down a wooden driveway, rich local culture abounds.

Hammer's Slough --

This estuary provides rearing habitat for many valuable marine species.  Estuaries are mixing zones where young salmon acclimate to salt water, and where adult salmon acclimate back to fresh water.  They are also the primary pathway where nutrients from land enter the ocean.  The photo is at low, low tide, sometimes a 21 foot tide swing.

Sons of Norway Hall, placed on the National Register of Historic Places -- 

The Viking Ship Valhalla was built in 1976 by shipwright Hans Pederson & Sons in Keyport, New Jersey, to celebrate the US Bi-Centennial.  She has appeared in many parades, including the Parade of Tall Ships in New York Harbor.  The Valhalla was purchased by the Petersburg Little Norway Festival Committee to help celebrate the Little Norway Festival.

A memorial to the fishermen lost at sea is at the right of the photo.

Stepping stones in the shape of halibut along the garden path seem so appropriate in this fishing town, and I almost don't want to walk on them.

Back in the commercial area of town I pass a Pizza Parlor and see my favorite savings bank, Wells Fargo, which has a beautiful logo of the stagecoach and horses.  I go inside to visit with Jake, who agrees to pose with a model of the carriage under an elk mount.  His co-workers get a laugh from this. 

More Norwegian banners....

Boasting the largest home-based halibut fishing fleet in Alaska, Petersburg's fishing fleet catches enough fish to support four canneries and two cold-storage plants.  The canneries sit above the water on pilings, overlooking boat harbors bulging with vessels, barges, ferries, seaplanes, and pleasure craft like Willie's Tug and Nudibranch.  The photo below of Obsession shows a white warehouse and the edge of green building, part of Ocean Beauty's processing plant.

Obsession in front of Ocean Beauty Seafood Cannery

My walk takes so long that I don't realize Happy Hour time has come and gone, and we do not celebrate until after Lilly has had her afternoon walk.  So this is how we happened to walk into town to the Pizza parlor to find a sign reading, “Sorry we are closed.”  

Oh, no!  We have been thinking of pizza all day!  The posted hours are until 8P and it is now 8:13P. Ray remembers that a local had told him the pizza place a little ways out of town was better, so we call them for a delivery to the dock in 30 minutes.  We are hungry, but glad for the time to walk farther north on Nordic Street where locals live and are rewarded by incredible scenery.

The pizza is also very good!

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Tuesday, July 7, 2015

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