Thorne Bay, Alaska – “Stop so I can take a picture,” I asked my husband on the way home from school. Driving home on Shoreline Drive, we meandered along the coastline, passing the town churches on our left and the dock on the right. We pulled over, and I jumped out with one of the early digital cameras. Then, I snapped this photo of a typical fall day, wanting to remember the Alaska floatplanes reflecting in the bay.
Here are a few fun things to notice in this old photograph: 1) The two local floatplanes are resting in their slips and are not in winter storage; 2) I see the silhouette of vegetation in the bottom right corner, which the weight of the winter snow will flatten by spring; 3) The thick overcast, rainy skies are prevalent year-round but are most common during the wettest months of October and November; 4) The low light reveals the setting sun by 4 p.m.—a sure sign winter is close at hand; and, 5) The dock lights shine in the distance as do lights on a boat where someone may be living.
Notice the pilings are tall; this means the tide is out. Do you see the boat cruising on the right and the floatplanes and pilings reflections in the bay? The lack of blowing wind allows for the glassy bay water. The wispy fog in the trees and mountains across the bay regularly blankets Prince of Wales Island, shielding residents from daily sun exposure, which is not entirely terrible. I appear years younger than I am after spending two decades beneath this cloud cover.
Now, for the rest of the Alaska story.
Podcaster Edie Sohigian and I discussed my unique and adventurous Alaska life and multiple sclerosis journey on her podcast Thriving Over Surviving. Listen to our delightful conversation podcast #92 – “Living an Adventurous Life with Multiple Sclerosis,” to hear more about remote Alaska and my hopes, dreams, and challenges while living in bush Alaska. Click on any link below to listen to the podcast.
A Few Previous Posts on Alaska Floatplanes and Docks
A Way of Life in Remote Alaska – The Alaska Dock – Learn more about what you might see on a remote Alaska dock.
Southeast Alaska Life – A Typical Day – The deHavilland Beaver hums in the background in southeast Alaskan communities as these floatplanes come and go with mail and passengers. This post includes a video of a plane coming into Thorne Bay, Alaska.
Alaska Floatplane in a Blizzard: Melissa Cook recounted when a floatplane took off in a blizzard with a barge and tugboat in the Thorne Bay area.