June 6, 2022 Day 10: Vixen Harbor to Wrengall 67 miles, 1130 total miles.
We left Vixen harbor after having breakfast and headed to Wrangell. Wrangell is a small town that I knew I wanted to stop and visit.
Wrangell wasn’t too far from Vixen harbor. We didn’t need to worry about weather or tides or currents so we took the scenic way. We stopped by Anan Wildlife Observatory to see what anchorage may be like if we wanted to stop and look at the bears there on the way home. From our understanding the anchorage is a little iffy and the guide books recommend someone staying with the boat if you do anchor. We could book a tour out of Wrangell to go see the bears, but it is pricey and it is for 12+. There is also a cabin you can rent and it comes with a float to tie your boat to. We looked into that, but it was booked when we would need it. We are still trying to figure out how all of us could get there. It’s a great place to see bears in the wild eating salmon from the river. Although I am hoping on our way home we will have seen enough bears that we’ll be OK if we don’t stop. (Although we hear it is a must see.)
We also went through some narrows and THIS may be my new favorite part of the drive. It was just so pretty! I was really hoping we’d see some cool wildlife through here, but aside from Bald Eagles we didn’t spot anything. The water was perfect so it made for a pretty perfect day!
In Wrangell we stopped for gas, and while Chris was gassing up I tried to find us a hotel. Sadly none of them let me book online and I had to call around to find a room. I hate talking on the phone, but I was successful and found us a room at Extended Stay Wrangell. (Not to be confused with the Extended Stay Chain.) This is more like an airbnb meets hotel. It’s cute and bonus, it has laundry, so no laundromat for us! That alone makes it worth it! When I called to book, a man answered and I asked if there were any rooms available. He said that he was in the shop next door and he didn’t have the books, so he gave me his wife’s number. I called her and luckily they had a room for us. When we showed up we rang their ring doorbell and they said they had to run out really quickly, but they’d be right back. A few minutes later they came back and showed us to our room. There is a main room when you walk in and off to the side is a bathroom. Opposite corner as the bathroom is a little kitchenette and a twin bed in there. (It isn’t as wonky as it sounds.) So we even have a bit of space in the room. It is perfect!
When we were unloading the boat to go to the hotel the two big kids were playing on the dock and the boat like they usually do. Chris was holding Ellen in the cockpit (back of the boat) while I was packing up what we would need in the hotel. Out of the corner of my eye I see Ryan fall and hear Lillian scream. Ryan fell into the water in-between the dock and the boat. Chris set Ellen down and quickly got out and got Ryan out of the freezing cold water. Luckily Ryan went under, but grabbed onto the dock and Chris was able to get him out really quickly. We stripped him naked and I toweled him off. We turned the heat up in the boat and got warm clothes for him. Ryan was in good spirits the moment he was on the dock again and said he was fine. Lillian on the other hand was pretty shaken up seeing her brother disappear like that. It definitely gave us a huge scare and hopefully we will be extra cautious from now on. The water in Alaska is cold, outside is chilly and its a bad mix to fall in the water. The water temperature is probably between 45-50 degrees and the outside temperature was actually close to that as well. We really were lucky it wasn’t worse.
We settled in, got some food at a Chinese Restaurant, did laundry and are taking advantage of the internet and phone service we have. In the morning Chris will change the oil on the boat, we will run some errands and head out for our next adventure.
Ryan’s Thoughts: I fell into the ocean at a dock…so yeah.
Lillian’s Thoughts: Today hmm. So today I had the best breakfast ever! Then me and Ryan played find the button maps on minecraft, then mom booked the hotel, and then Ryan fell into the water and now here we are!