Weekend Wanderer: Day 4 - Kayaks, Sunsets, and New Endeavors

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

-John Muir

Yesterday was absolutely beautiful. After three days of rain, the gloom finally dissipated and turned into blue skies and sunny weather. I knew I had to take advantage. After all, it was supposed to be my last full day here...but we'll get to that in a bit. 

I drove out to Knudson's Cove to rent a kayak. One of the top things on my bucket list is to see Killer Whales in the wild and I'd read that May-June is a great time to see them in Ketchikan. As crazy as it sounds, I craved to see them by myself and not as part of a guided tour or whale watching boat. I wanted it to be a personal moment. 

Unfortunately, no whales were to be seen that day. But time spent kayaking on open water in Alaska is still a great day. 

I wanted a stereotypical Instagram shot

I paddled out to a small, uninhabited island to rest, take in the view, and have some breakfast. Upon arriving, I thought I'd test the limits of technology and attempt a video chat with my sisters. It's pretty crazy to be talking in real time on video while out in the wilderness. They both thought I was crazy for going out alone, but I assured them that the weather was calm and everything was fine.

This island is cell phone friendly

After kayaking, I went out for a quick hike around Ward Lake with my new friend Meg who works at the inn where I'm staying. I can't say enough about The Inn at Creek Street. They have gone above and beyond for me during the length of my stay and treated me more as an old friend than a patron of their hotel. 

After the hike, I was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed and crash. However, the evening light had different ideas. Knowing I'd regret it if I didn't get out to shoot during sunset, I packed my gear and found a spot not to far from the inn to shoot from. 

Upon arrival, I was greeted by a couple of characters enjoying a few sips of cheap whiskey while watching the sunset. As I shot, we chatted about life and the stunning beauty of Alaska. They insisted I snap a photo of them and I was happy to oblige. 

Old leftover dock pillars 

While shooting, a bald eagle came up and practically posed for me

Yesterday was probably the most eventful day I've spent here, and as I said, I was exhausted afterwards. 

As I mentioned above, I was supposed to leave today. But amazing things happen sometimes. The inn I've been staying at heard that I was a photographer and looked at some of the photos I've posted since I've been here. The owner, Stephen, was so impressed he has invited me to stay a few extra days to shoot photos for the hotel as well! As part of my compensation, they even upgraded my room free of charge! 

I am now staying three extra days and will be arriving back in Austin early Thursday morning. I cannot speak enough of the showing of human kindness and decency I've experienced on this trip. From Sparkloft Media sending me a care package before I left, to Alaska Airlines being 100% supportive of me staying longer to work with the hotel and even rescheduling my flight at no additional charge, and now the new business relationship I've formed with The Inn at Creek Street - this trip has been such a fulfilling endeavor. 

I know this post sounds kind of final, but stick around. I'm here for three more days and I promise there are more photos to come!

Thank you so much to everyone for being so supportive!

-Zak