May 21, 2016 – Imagine seeing this view in the mirror every time you fill up at the gas station. Okay, I didn’t exactly see this every time I bought gas in Klawock because blue skies in Alaska’s temperate rainforest aren’t typical; Klawock has precipitation 245 days a year. More often than not, I stood in the blowing rain or under a thick layer of clouds threatening to release rain droplets upon my head.
Take your eyes off the gorgeous, snow-capped mountain in the background and check out what’s in the parking lot. The red shipping container is a common sight on the Prince of Wales Island. Groceries arrive in Thorne Bay on the barge in containers like these, and then they are loaded onto semi-trucks and transported across Prince of Wales Island to the stores in Craig and Klawock. Most people move to and from the island using one of these—I know we did.
The vehicles in sight are four-wheel-drive, including my own in the mirror; most are trucks. Do you see any cars? There were cars, but even they often had AWD or four-wheel-drive. What a view I had for pumping gas—rain or shine. Lucky me, and I always knew it.
Now, for the rest of the story.
My Alaska neighbor, Joy Weber, and I joked about naming the mountain Black Bear Mountain because we still don’t know its official name after two decades of living by this gorgeous hunk of rock. Black Bear Mountain may very well be what it’s called; who knows? The lake nestled between the peaks is Black Bear Lake, and the convenience store nearby is Black Bear Store. I never thought about the mountain’s name until I wrote this post and couldn’t find it online despite searching multiple maps. Even this map from Alaska Guide doesn’t show it. My husband guessed Frosty because our old friend Bob Robertson used to call it that.