Saints celebrating feast days today include Gertrude the
Great (she was on yesterday's list, too...half the
hagiographies give her day as the 15th)(patron saint of
the West Indies), Mechtilde, Margaret of Scotland (patron
saint of Scotland), Edmund of Abingdon, Agnes of Assisi,
When the ferry arrived at
noon, I uncrated the dogs, labeled the kennel for its return, then
packed all my stuff up to the terminal, which was about a mile from
the town itself. I tried to rent a locker to store everything, but
there wasn't one. The attendant told me she was locking the building
until the next ferry--which wasn't arriving for quite some time--and
that I should just leave it all outside. Since I didn't want to drag
everything to town with me, that is what I did, but I was sure I was
seeing it all for the last time.
The walk was beautiful. The mountains were close enough to touch in
the crystal air. The Wrangell Narrows, the body of water that separated
Mitkof Island, where Petersburg is located, from Kupreanof Island
was clean and blue. The houses I passed were a little on the shabby
side, but had Alaskan charm.
Beyond the post office, I stopped at Irene's Restaurant, tied the
dogs, and went in for a cup of coffee and information on jobs and
housing. I was told that I could register with the Alaska Job Service
office down the street. No one knew of any houses for rent.
I left Irene's, untangled the dogs (who had barked themselves into
terriersterics and were now wound into a silent wad of short legs
and long leashes), and headed down the street.
The two people in the employment office were extremely helpful. In
spite of my travel-worn appearance and the fact that I didn't live
anywhere, I was given an appointment for an interview the following
day with a local business. They also provided me with more housing
information, all of which was sobering. No one knew of a house to
rent. Had there been a house to rent, no one knew of a house that
was ever rented to someone with dogs. There were two motels and one
hotel in town, neither of which took pets. There was no kennel. There
was no veterinarian.
When I arrived back at Irene's, the owner, Irene, suggested I call
her husband and ask him if I could stay on his fishing boat. People
had stayed on it before during the winter in order to keep the batteries
charged and make sure it didn't sink when it was snowed on. Maybe
he would let me stay on it since I didn't look like a hippy.
Luckily, he agreed to it. "But only until March." March!
I told him it would be for only a few days until I found a house.
He said that was still ok with him and so this letter is being written
on the good ship Minker (a troller) in Petersburg harbor. I sure feel
like an Alaskan!
And I start work on Monday. Hope to have a real place to live by then
because there isn't any bathroom on this boat! Oh, by the way...all
my stuff was still at the ferry terminal when I went back for it.
It really is another world here.