by Katie Sobalsky, SCA Intern
Petersburg, Alaska is quite an eclectic little town. The tiny ﬁshing village located on Mitkof Island boasts a population of no more than a few thousand people, most of who ﬁsh, work in the canneries or are part of the Forest Service.
Petersburg is part of the *Tongass National Forest, which if Iâ€™m not mistaken is the largest national forest in the United States and one of the few temperate rain forests. Anywhere I look snow-peaked mountains surround me, and although the weather is dreary and overcast and usually spitting misty rain off and on all day, the beauty of this land and sea is enough to make me forget about the weather.
Iâ€™ve spent a good amount of time exploring the town, sitting by the docks and watching the ﬁshing vessels come in and out of port and the giant sea lions roar and splash. One night on a walk along the seashore I was lucky enough to see a Humpback Whale surface, make a loud blowing sound, then sinking back into the deep, gray water.
And just the other evening, I sat beside my friend, laughing as he got showed up by a Bald Eagle who was a much more deft ﬁsherman than he. My friend had not bites, but the eagle nose dived and snatched ﬁsh after ﬁsh.
Photo credit: Donel Judy
“The Tongass National Forest, the nation’s largest national forest, covers most of Southeast Alaska, surrounding the famous Inside Passage. It offers unique chances to view eagles, bears, spawning salmon, and the breath-taking vistas of “wild” Alaska. You can take a sled-dog ride on a glacier, hike boardwalk trails, ﬁsh in streams or ocean, or just relax at a remote cabin.” — from the NPS website.