Thursday, December 1st, 2011
Tenakee Springs

Tenakee Springs is one of those uniquely Alaskan places. It’s far enough off the beaten path to have retained its authentic feeling. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the town is a single line of homes and a few businesses strung out along the shore for about one mile. Behind the homes is the only road, unpaved, where almost all the traffic is on foot or on bike. There are few ATV’s around, but many people use wheelbarrows and pushcarts haul groceries and other cargo. It feels like a journey back in time. There are a couple large pickup trucks in town with tanks that serve as the local fire and fuel trucks. A daily float-plane run connects the town with the rest of the world. The only other way to get to Tenakee is by boat, taking most of a day to get from Juneau. Quite a few people from Juneau have second homes here, so during my time there the town seemed very quiet, considering that maybe only half or less of its 100 residents were there. The school seems to have struggled in recent years to maintain its minimum enrollment of 10 K-12 students. The hot …

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Tuesday, November 15th, 2011
Humpback Whale Spouts, Tenakee Inlet

Not all Humpback Whales leave Alaska in the winter. Some stay around in waters rich with feed, as is the case in Tenakee Inlet. When it’s calm, one can hear whales breathing most of the time here! This is a long shot with the 300mm zoom looking across this inlet, but I liked the unison of the three spouts.

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Monday, November 14th, 2011
Tenakee Springs

The full moon late last week illuminates Tenakee’s houses built on stilts along the shore of Tenakee Inlet. I had heard a lot about Tenakee Springs when I was in Juneau, so I am glad to finally experience this quaint town of around 100 residents (maybe half as many in winter). Located on Chichagof Island on the north side of Tenakee Inlet, Tenakee Springs feels a lot more remote and off the beaten path than its proximity to Juneau or Sitka (only 45 miles southwest of Juneau and 50 miles northeast of Sitka) may suggest. It’s accessible only by water (State ferry or private boat) or by plane. The State ferry provides passenger transportation only – there are no vehicle landing facilities or local roads in Tenakee. There is a three mile long main street used for walking, bicycle or ATV only – there are no cars here, except for the fuel and fire trucks!

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