Thursday, May 15, 2008

Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary

One of two shore excursions we booked was a nature walk at the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary.

The Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary used to be an old logging and sawmill facility that was converted into a sanctuary after the original owner died.

We are the first group to walk through the forest after the spring thaw. It was surprisingly pleasant and not too cold.

The nature walk with the experienced guides is a great way to learn about Alaskan flora and fauna. I did not expect so much varieties of moss growing all over the trees and logs. You also learn about how bears mark their territory and other evidence of their presence and how they live in the rainforest. The walk itself is leisurely and not strenuous at all.

Below is a Devil's Club. You have to watch out for this. If you catch the thorns, they will fester under your skin for weeks!

We met Wayne who carves totem poles. Here he shows us a block of cedar and the start of a new totem pole which is going to have a bear on it. He created the totem poles outside of the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary building.

The Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary is also home to rescued animals.

Here are reindeers saved from a sausage factory. Their antlers are vascular and if you break them off, the reindeer would bleed to death.

They also have a bald eagle and owl that have wing injuries and would not otherwise survive in the wild.

To read more about this cruise and Alaska, click here.

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