Saturday May 3, 2014, early morning; en route to Ketchikan, aboard the AMHS MV Taku
I’m sure I’d only just really gotten to sleep when my cell phone alarm chirped at 12:40 this morning, prompting the groggy business of rolling out of bed and collecting our things. Dad and I stayed at an old quirky place called Totem Lodge in Prince Rupert (complete with turquoise colored kitchen appliances, I kid you not), really just renting a place to lie down between dinner and our 1:15am check-in at the Alaska Marine Highway terminal. We piled into the car (which has become decreasingly organized since we left Bellingham, two-and-a-half days ago), made sure we knew where our passports were, and headed down the road.
Travel being what it is (and since we’d had no complications thus far), we had a tiny snag during our check-in. Earlier in the week, via phone, I had added my dad as a passenger in my vehicle, and removed the dog ticket, and had been issued a revised ticket showing that I was fully paid. But a glitch in the AMHS system showed that I still owed a $10 change fee. It was eventually resolved without much hassle (just a lengthy wait). We were given new tickets, a Customs declaration form and a tag for the car that indicated our destination: WRG.
We passed through Customs and were put in boarding Lane 2. Lane 1 had cars with tags reading “KTN” Lane 3 cars had tags reading “PSG”, and Lane 4 cars had tags reading “STA”. In order, these are the first four stops of the voyage: Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg and Sitka. The other lanes were mostly full, but we were, and would remain, the only car in Lane 2. This leads me to believe that Wrangell is either a terrible place, or Alaska’s best-kept secret. Here’s hoping for the latter.