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Wetness from the Sky


By Crew, Wilderness Explorer

The rain makes the world flow and turn green. The northern people may have innumerable words for snow, but on the same thread, southeasters have countless terms for wetness falling from the sky.

It could be drizzling, misting, pouring, dumping, sprinkling, spitting, puking, or raining.

The Wilderness Explorer left Ketchikan on May 10th for an Alaska cruise, and over the past four days, we have danced through every possible verb.

SE Alaska rain

Embrace the rain in Southeast Alaska

On our third and fourth days, the rain becomes a part of us as we all embrace the white weather and explore what Southeast Alaska is really all about.

On the third day in the Bay of Pillars, Katrina led a group of intrepid hikers for a three-mile adventure in the downpour to discover a thriving temperate rainforest and clues on its inhabitants--wolf poop and bear bones.

Bay of Pillars hike

Hiking along the shoreline in the Bay of Pillars

Brant led a four-hour kayak out of the bay and towards the edge of the looming Chatham Strait to see where the rain clouds kissed the ocean and to walk where the rivers rounded beach rocks and returned to the sea. Tannins, tea-colored organic compounds from the forest, turned the bay brown, but only in the top foot of water.

Bay of Pillars kayak

Kayaking in the Bay of Pillars

On our fourth day, we bathed in waterfalls. Well, not literally for most people, except for a few intrepid souls. The rain had given birth to countless waterfalls, from giant kayak-crushing thunder to gurgling trickles that could be heard, but often not seen, in the cliffy forest above our paddle strokes. Hours were passed just gazing up into the mist-cloaked forest and rocky peaks, just noticing the falling water.

rushing waterfalls

Rushing waterfalls can be quite mesmerizing on rainy days

Welcome to the true Southeast Alaska. Embrace the rain and explore the beauty of the lush landscape.

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