Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Prince Of Wales Island--POW. And HOW! WOW!

Ready for another stunning geography/history lesson, kids?  POW is one of the islands of the Alexander Archipelago in the Alaskan Panhandle, the 4th largest island in the US after Hawaii, Kodiak and Puerto Rico.  Another lovely location in the Tongass Rainforest.

POW is home of the Kaigani (crabapple country) Haida and later--or earlier--Tlingit people, who named the island "Sea Lion."  Then even later around 18th Century times, Mexican, British and French explorers overnighted here, too. I think the Russians just sort of waved on their way by.  (Aren't you happy that I'm not your real history teacher?  I'm pretty shabby at this part.  But if you're really interested, you can wikipee it.)

We flew in on an unusually sunny day in May about a week ago.  By "we," I mean the pilot, a woman going home to Hydaburg from her chemo treatment in Anchorage and me in this little B-1RD:  (That means I don't know what kind of plane it is.)  Not the smallest one I've been in since I've been traveling here in Alaska, but small enough to make me smile about getting into it.  That's a big deal, because I seldom smile about flying in planes--you know, the ones with all those people and their elbows.  It's an interminable, crampy, stiff drudgery for the most part.  Ick. 

Flying in these smaller birds is a noisy experience, but this Island Air pilot had some smoothe music piping through these head sets for us to listen to on the way over from Ketchikan. 

The airport is in Klawock which is where the clinic is where I worked for a day.  I didn't take a picture of the eye clinic building at the Klawock mall because, well, BORING.  But I did take a picture of the Dream Catcher B&B where I stayed in Craig about seven miles down the road.

Let me correct myself here.  I took SEVERAL pictures of this B & B. 

Being the 4th largest island in the United States doesn't mean this little sand bar is big by any means.  And being small doesn't mean it doesn't pack a punch with it's abundance of fjords, steep-sided mountains, dense forests, Tlingit culture...bears, to name a few delights of Prince of Wales Island.

I'm still trying to learn how George Vancouver's "Prince of Wales Archipelago" became "Alexander Archipelago" and the island came to be called "Prince of Wales" island.  Something to do with the treaty discussions between Russia and Great Britain, I presume.  And who named the towns Craig and Klawock and Hollis and Thorne Bay and Hydaburg?  

Alaska has some very interesting place names-descriptive, possesive, incidental, onomastic, commemorative, -from a number of cultural sources.  I might just have to do some more research and see if I can share some of it interestingly.  With pictures.  Later.

Oopsie.  How did Pookie Pye get in here?!  You little wascal, why are you always popping up in my head space?!


Bewildermunster said...

Beautiful pictures, I especially love the B&B pics!!! Looks peaceful there.

Penny said...

Thanks! It is peaceful there, but I didn't get out of my car much on that drive across the island because...BEARS!

Trish said...

Beautiful pictures and stories..... especially the one about Pookie Pye!