Saturday, August 2, 2014

Wrangell Alaska Bearfest

This year Wrangell celebrated its 5th annual Bearfest from July 23rd to July 27th. Ray Troll joined the party this year.  He designed the poster and T-shirts and gave an entertaining and informative talk about his art.  CLICK HERE to see this year's poster.  

On the final day of the festivities, there was a run.  The run includes, a 5K, a half marathon and a full marathon.  I joined the contingent of Petersburg runners going to Wrangell.  We started our journey with a ride to Banana Point to catch Breakaway for the quick ride over to Wrangell on Saturday 

Our first stop was at the marathon nerve center, Alaska Vistas. We registered for the run, visited with Sylvia and crew and grabbed a few Bearfest T-shirts.
We had to wait to check in to our accommodations so we wandered around Wrangell and took in the sights.  The Nolan Center was alive with activity.  Tables filled with crafts and baked goods lined the walls and in the auditorium the featured musicians were hosting a clinic.  The museum and museum store are truly worth a visit.

Marlene, Sharon, Margaret and Joanne visited Chief Shakes house and enjoyed the entertainment there.  Audrey needed a little rest so Helen and I checked in to Rooney's Roost Bed and Breakfast.  If you ever need to spend the night in Wrangell, I highly recommend Rooney's Roost.  It is located on the same street as the High School.  We were greeted with a plate full of the most delicious cookies.  The hostess, Becky Rooney, cooks a delicious gourmet breakfast each day as well.  The rooms are really well insulated because we didn't hear much of anything during our stay.  We stayed in the Sunshine room, which was decorated in shabby chic, blue and yellow.  You have your own bathroom in this room too.  Audrey enjoyed the bear in front of Rooney's Roost.
 CLICK HERE for more information about Rooney's Roost.

At the end of the day, we enjoyed listening to Ray Troll's talk about his art before heading out to the spaghetti dinner at the park.

The next day, Sunday was race day.  We gathered at the Nolan Center for the start.  Hannah and Margaret.
Hannah, Margaret, Sharon, Helen and Audrey
Three generations Helen, Audrey and me.
Audrey has the best seat in the house.  She's strapped in and ready to roll.
Look who we found at the race start. Newly weds Bridget Davidson and Margaret Agner might have been sharing a funny story.
And they're off!!
Hannah ran the half marathon and Margaret ran the first leg of the 4 person marathon relay.

Glory leg...Joann ran the last leg of the marathon relay. 

The half marathon runners in our crew were happy to finish before the heavy rains began.
Petersburg runners finish long races with smiles on their faces.  
Marlene, Hannah, Kathi, Helen, Audrey, Sharon, Margaret and Joanne
The race ended at about 12:30 and our ferry arrived at 2:30.  We enjoyed a restful ride back to Petersburg with our boxes of sweet potato fries from the Stikine Restaurant.  It really was a wonderful weekend.  Awesome company and fun activities. 

Wrangell, Alaska has a long and interesting history.  It was settled by the Tlingit people thousands of years ago.  In the 19th Century, the Russians settled Wrangell, making it one of the first non-native settlements in Alaska.   For more information about Wrangell, Alaska, CLICK HERE . Wrangell is the gateway to the Stikine.  If you want to watch the bears at Anan, you can book a ride with Alaska Vistas. CLICK HERE for more information about Alaska Vistas. 
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