Cabin Fever


At the end of a short gravel trail there’s a three-sided structure near a beach on the north end of Prince of Wales Island. Across the water is the southern coast of Kupreanof — close enough to look big, far enough to look like a lot of work to access.

There’s a stove in the middle of the shelter, which seems like an astounding waste of firewood since there’s an entire wall missing. However, a surprising amount of warmth collects around the wooden bunks in the back. At night, cruise ships slip past as quiet, organized rows of lights.

I am excited to get there this summer and again be frightened by the midnight sounds of humpback whales blowing their misty breath into the air. A whale surfacing doesn’t sound at all like a bear breathing, but when you’ve only been awake for a few seconds, the brain isn’t exactly proficient at deciphering the sounds of woodland versus marine mammals.

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