False Island

Alaska Travel Blog

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The view looking out from the cabins

False Island is a gorgeous old work camp that is used by the Forest Service for people who are working in this remote region to stay instead of taking hours to get back to their home.  The only way to get here (like most places in SE Alaska) is by boat or float plane.  There is a small fishing resort on the "island", it's an old barge that has been converted into a building with a kitchen and a few rooms (http://www.alaskafalseislandlodge.com/) would be a great place to get away and do some really great fishing.  The resort has a boat landing and a float plane dock.  We float planed in on the 29th and stayed for a week, I was there to do some work on the mountain top radio close to the camp but was fogged in most of the week.

  Talk about a quiet, relaxing week.

I took a few pictures on the days it was sunny.  The work camp is settled at the edge of a short bluff overlooking a rocky beach that gets covered up when the tide is high.  To the left is a river inlet where you can sit all day and watch the grizzly bears play with their cubs or fish for salmon swimming up stream.  I found it strange but there seemed to be an understanding of sorts between the bears and humans, the bluff is the undrawn line that isn't really crossed.  We went out to the end of the beach fishing once or twice, but we knew full well that this was the bears territory, and visa versa, the bears rarely venture up the bluff into the camp.  A great example of how humans can be a part of nature without encroaching, and seeing how nature does seem to have its understanding about living in peace.

  Often times on the beach you will see more than one bear, a couple of mama's, or a boar will occasionally come in and check the place out.  This makes for a pretty intense show, since male bears have been known to kill cubs so the female will go into heat.  The mama bear will fight tooth and nail to keep her cubs alive.  I got a couple of pics of the male coming in towards the female and her 3 cubs, luckily he didn't seem to interested, but things were a little intense for a while.

A few days after taking the pics of the mama and her cubs I was fishing with some people in a river just up the road.  While we were cleaning our fish we had a spotter on a bridge above us to look for bears.  Bears have an amazing sense of smell and cleaning fish in a bear infested river can be somewhat dangerous.

The high tide at False Island work camp
  Our spotter seemed to be more interested in what we were doing than looking for bears, he didn't see the mama bear until she was about 20 feet (6m) from us running straight towards me.  Nothing in this world can prepare you for the feeling you get when you make eye contact with a hungry grizzly bear that is running right at you.  Luckily it was the female with three cubs and as soon as we stood up she got a little spooked and stopped, if it had been the male he wouldn't have been so spooky.  Of course we did the wrong thing, anyone who spends time in the woods will tell you if you see a bear remain calm, look as big as you can, talk in a monotone voice, and slowly get out of the way.............................we screamed like little girls and ran up the bank, fish in hand.   I tell this story much better at a pub over a few beers, buy me a beer, I'll tell you how it really happened..............

jopar says:
Robinw666, this is Joe P. You know we just celebrated the 30 year anniversary of when we were there as YACCers. We are trying to create an FI alumni list. Check out the website at servealaska.org if you want to reach me.

Joe
Posted on: Mar 03, 2010
robinw666 says:
I was with the first group of YACC'ers at False Island, around 1978. We spent most of our time cleaning up the mess the loggers left. I remember some trailers and the living complex, which was really old when I was there. Don't imagine there is much left by now... any other YACC vets from False Island out there?

One of our favorite pastimes was to watch the bears at the trash dump, about 2 miles from camp, plus catching crab off the dock. There is a stream to the south with a huge salmon run, plus more eagles than you can count...
Posted on: Apr 28, 2009
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The view looking out from the cabi…
The view looking out from the cab…
The high tide at False Island work…
The high tide at False Island wor…
This is low tide, the inlet comes …
This is low tide, the inlet comes…
Mama teaching the cubs how to fish
Mama teaching the cubs how to fish
They look so damn cute from a disa…
They look so damn cute from a dis…
Funny how they walk single file.
Funny how they walk single file.
This was the boar (male) that came…
This was the boar (male) that cam…
The male and female having a bit o…
The male and female having a bit …
1,168 km (726 miles) traveled
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