You never know where you’ll find yourself if you don’t mind a little adventure…This week Rob and I are in Craig, Alaska, on Prince of Wales Island. The island is about a three-hour ferry ride from Ketchikan, or a 30 minute flight from Ketchikan on a Cessna aircraft. Rob is working for the next two weeks at a clinic in the small town of Craig. I am along for the ride, working at the clinic here in the same admin role I have in Ketchikan. Nice that this facility is part of the PeaceHealth system! It’s a rare opportunity for me to work in the same environment as Rob, and the bonus is that we can spend the evenings together.
But back to Craig…small town Alaska…there is a grocery, a hardware store, a school, a health clinic, a rec center, a few additional stores, a harbor, lots of bed & breakfast options, a pizza place…this is a fishing heaven in the summer. Not that I would know about that personally, but that’s the main attraction of the community. Southeast Alaska was once about lumber, now it is more about commercial and recreational fishing. There are lots of roads on this island, a remnant of the past logging industry. It is a popular destination for hunting and biking, as well as fishing, and the population ebbs and flows with the season. In summer it can be hard to find lodging…not a problem in January. The rain is a regular presence, a reminder that southeast coastal Alaska is rainforest.
I am fascinated by what draws people to the small villages of Alaska. You can never tell by looking…some people come and stay forever, most don’t. But some are raising families, making a life in these small outposts. They are connected by modern technology, separated by the isolation of geography and climate.
These places are not for me long term…like most people, I find the isolation too much. But it is interesting to get a glimpse of this blend of past and present. These communities are living history museums…better come see for yourself before they’re absorbed and changed by modern life. But take my advice and try to come in the summer…just be sure to book your lodging in advance!