Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sailing Southeast

We have a new 'must-read' book about Southeast Alaska:  Glaciers, Bears and Totems: sailing in search of the real Southeast Alaska by Elsie Hulsizer.  Photographer and writer Hulsizer spent three summers (2006-2008) sailing throughout the Inside Passage with her husband on their sloop Osprey.  They spent a lot of time exploring all the hidden nooks and beaches of Southeast, as well as walking around the many small towns and settlements that make up so much of our population:  Hoonah, Kake, Meyers Chuck, Yes Bay, Angoon, Hydaburg, etc.
It's this 'off-the-beaten-path' aspect of Hulsizer's book that makes this such an invaluable resource for local residents as well as the more adventuresome tourists.  Speaking as a librarian who fields many, many questions about the local area, we just don't have a lot of information - let alone photographs - about places like Meyers Chuck and Hydaburg.  Hulsizer spends pages and pages on these little communities, recounting her interactions with the locals and how daily life proceeds out in the big woods.  She even has a section on Old Kasaan.
Ketchikan residents will of course want to read the chapter on our fair city...it's not entirely flattering, and you will  find the conversation she has with one of the summer workers down on Creek Street (pg. 52 - "Is Ketchikan real?") quite enlightening.

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