We have been watching the forcast for Kodiak off and on since the middle of March. It has been rain almost every single day since we started watching it. Everyone this last week has told us how unusal all this sunny weather that we have been having for over a week is. Some how I have managed to get a sunburn in Kodiak from what I hear that is supposed to be impossible. All this to say that we knew the rain would come and we’re suprised it hasn’t come sooner. The forcast for this whole week is rain every day. The positive side is that because of all the clouds it gets dark sooner and stays dark longer. I slept until almost noon when I recieved two phone calls from the kids dentist and payroll. When I only work one shift in a row I try not to sleep the whole day after. We had made some play date plans with a family we met on the ferry then visited with again at the crab fest. My coworkers had recommended a few hands on learning opportunities here in town that are free and would be good alternatives to playing at the playground in the rain. During lunch Sandra text me and said that she was not feeling well so they would not be able to make it. Chad had been working all morning on getting internet and getting it all set up and was now ready to go out and explore. We made a plan to go to the touch tanks by the Department of Fish and Game then headed that way. The Science center is on Near Island right next to the Department of Fish and Game building. We had been told that there was a place you can go to see all the different kinds of crabs and touch them. I didn’t realize the ones we could touch were going to be mostly silver dollar sized. The touch tank was much cool than I could have expected. There was so many things in it to touch, feel and hold that even though it was one and done (the only real attraction to this educational stop). The kids (Chad and I also) were completely amazed by each creature. We couldn’t take lots of time and enjoy each one. If our hands could handle the cold water brrrr it made them ache even after just a few seconds. It is like the big aquariums are Christmas with a lot of presents and this touch tank is like Christmas with one present. Some how when there is many you rush through them seeing each one briefly not really appreciating any of them completely. When you have that one gift that you have plenty of time to play with and explore every facet of you find that you get even more joy from the experience than when there were many gifts.
So much more fun than I had hoped it would be. We may be back depending on if we get stir crazy on the rainy days ahead of us.
Next we headed toward the Kodiak Natural Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center down town. On the way we got side tracked at Pikled Willys. Not two minutes before we drove past it Caleb was reading to us out of a visitor’s guide about Pickled Willys so when we passed it we decided that we had to turn around and check it out. I should have taken a picture of the store front, but I didn’t. The gentleman there gave us samples of pickled cod, halibut, salmon, and king crab. Chad liked the Cod the best, but he got out voted four to one so we purchased the pickled halibut. The other things they had were different smoked fish and fillets so we picked out ling cod fillets and then smoked sable tips which is some kind of muscle, two per fish, that is on the sides of the back of their throat.
Kodiak National Wildlife refuge takes up about 3/4 of the island but there are no roads to it, there is one other portion of it that is on the roaded side of the island, but for whatever reason the visitor center is in town. It also is way cooler than we expected and the kids, who usually groan at having to do the Jounior Ranger program homework eagerly took the volunteers up on doing the scavenger hunt they offered. They were too cute going around and mostly finding the answers on their own. Listening to Eve explain her answers and drawings to the ranger was the best.
This is a gray whale that washed up on the beach. They dug a big grave for him then uncovered him again four years later after the amazing decomposers in ourecosystem had picked the skeleton clean and so now it hangs in the visitor center on display (pictured above). We decided to stroll across the street when we left to the Kodiak Visitor’s center where we picked up some pamphlets and maps of more things to do in town. As small as the car-accessible side of this island is I still don’t think we will run out of things to do here in three months time, but as usual we will try to do it justice as much as we can anyway.
It was dinner time when we finished up exploring the visitor’s center so we headed home. Eve requested that we find a special on Netflix or YouTube on bears as she wanted to learn more about them and since we have internet we can now do that. We enjoyed our smoked sable tips and rice for dinner the girls weren’t completely sold as they were a bit spicy, but Chad and Caleb are wanting to do those again. I am more than okay with that. We settled down and learned about bears until bed time. What a “There are multiple pearls in this oyster!” kind of day.