1015 07MAR06 Petersburg, Alaska
It had snowed during the night—I awoke to a light dusting on the streets and rooftops, and it had started again as I was preparing to leave the hotel, but then stopped as soon as I got out the door. I had bundled up in a fleece-lined wool hat and gloves, a long soft scarf, and my yellow winter jacket only to find that it wasn’t nearly as cold as it looked. Sure, it wasn’t toasty (though I did see a young woman later on wearing flip-flops), but it wasn’t face-numbingly cold, either. It was probably right around freezing.
I made a point to get out early this morning to get a look at the town during daylight hours. I was also on the hunt for postcards: the trick is finding a place that’s open while I am not in the office. So I was wandering up and down the street, stopping and starting, checking out the hours of shops that looked like they might have postcards when a woman popped her head out of the not-yet-open convenience store across the street and called to me in a half-yell, “are you lost?” I answered that no, I was just looking around, but when it came time to head back down the street I saw her through her window talking on the phone. I imagined she was calling the police to come check on me…clearly I was out of place and maybe suspicious. My paranoia increasing, I tried to look purposeful, causing me to pass up five pennies on the ground, dammit. And I didn’t get any postcards.
After that, I walked down the main wooden pier for a good view of the harbor. It becomes plain that the industry of Petersburg is fish. Whether on a commercial, personal or recreational level, fish are it.
We’re having a break from our meeting (as usual, it’s been extended due to computer issues). As promised, we’re snacking on caribou summer sausage. It tastes great, and acts like meat potpourri in the room (a vegetarian’s nightmare). It’s denser, moister and less smoky than the goat we had yesterday. And to my delight, one man offered to bring some moose burgers to our fresh king salmon dinner tonight—I expect to be completely full of fish and meat tonight…they’ll probably have to roll me back to the hotel.