Today’s ad-Venture-s began bright and early as the sun began its commute into bluebird Alaskan skies. With brunch nigh and spirits high, we made our way to shore. From the night’s anchorage in the lee of Spray Island in Thomas Bay, we headed out for a morning of exploration in the bountiful Tongass National Forest—except this time, on the Alaskan mainland!

After clearing the Zodiac rails, it was time to hit the hiking trails into the woody wonderland bordering a roaring Cascade Creek. The creek’s powerful flow is ever at risk of drowning out the enthusiastic and ecological exclamations of our intrepid naturalists. Fortunately, our sheer delight at witnessing towering trees and blossoming dogwood amidst a lush carpet of spring-loaded understory fended off the creek’s raucous ramble. We ventured onward and upward to catch the sunrise through one of the most picturesque canopies the “Salmon Forest” has to offer.

Our thirst for wonder quenched and our morning attire drenched by waterfall-spray-showers and “God Ray” photoshoots, we returned to the ship for mimosas and a savory breakfast that left our bellies as bursting as our memory cards from our earlier adventures. We pulled anchor and ventured a short distance over to the lush docks of Petersburg—a delightful slice of Norway tucked away on Mitkof Island at the mouth of the infamous Wrangell Narrows.

With a more pedestrian disembarkation and leisurely afternoon planned than our earlier escapades, we went our own ways to take in the local flavor. Petersburg boasts a proud fishing fleet, snow-capped peaks in the Cosmos and Admiral Ranges (including the impressive Devil’s Thumb), and a stunted forest lining Hungry Point’s “muskeg” bog as its backdrop. Some of us took a local float plane ride to get an even better view of this little slice of wonder we got to enjoy together. And did we mention the night’s Dungeness crab feast?! It’s like they say: “Alaskan, you shall receive!”