Leaving Hoonah

totemFinally the sad moment came when we had to step off the Aurora.   I made a quick trip down the dock to say goodbye to the other cruisers: Diana and Neal on Dinero, the Smiths on Perseus, and Mike on Discovery – and stopped to congratulate Sean, the fishing guide moored next to us, on the 170-pound halibut he’d caught and was preparing to filet.   We walked through town -past the school, the fish packing plant, Hoonah Trading –  to the terminal wharf, where the ferry was just pulling in.    

As Jack stood in line, the women at the counter were having trouble processing his simple request for two $33 tickets from Hoonah to Juneau, both places with only a few miles of road that connect to nowhere else.   But this being our very first trip, we of course weren’t in the system.  

“What?!” the counter girl exclaimed, “You’ve never taken the Alaska State Ferry?”    

Fellow travelers included an elderly couple off for their annual family camping trip and caribou hunt.  Ron Blough had worked as a logger and a preacher all over Alaska; before that they were missionaries in Japan.

The Le Conte, the small ferry on the Community Route had less than a third of its passenger capacity of 300 and only five or six cars and trucks.   It was very comfortable with nice touches, like a children’s library.   I read books in English to my seat mate,  three-year-old Lea, while her grandfather spoke to her in Tlingit.

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