We arrived at Clover Pass RV Resort in Ketchikan on a rainy afternoon as the staff were hustling to get ready for their big King Salmon Derby this coming weekend. Here in Alaska,”resort” is defined a little differently. Clover Pass is first, and foremost, a small working marina that operates tours for cruise ships and houses visitors passionate about fishing – the 8 parking spots for RV’s along the shore seem like an add-on in the business plan.
As we drove in on the gravel road, we saw probably 30 – 40 small skiffs and other boats still in storage. Huge freezers flank the other side of the property (more about those later). Staff were busy cleaning the 2 small two story motel like structures with 10 individual rooms in one unit and 20 in the other, adding new planks to one of the docking wharfs, and getting the restaurant and office ready to open. In fact, the restaurant manager was the one who stopped his work to let us know where to park when we arrived on Saturday afternoon, “The manager won’t arrive until Monday, so you you can pay then.”, he said.
As RV parks go, this is pretty bare bones – a muddy, uneven parking lot with hookups and staff too busy to clean the restrooms.Yet, this is only place where you can get hookups on this island of 8,000 people. One of the big freezers broke down the other day and $50,000 of crab had to be pitched – not only significant financially but also in smell and staff time taken to clean up the mess.
But what a view! We’ve got one of the coveted spots right on the shore and have been entertained by harbor seals, a mink, lots of eagles, ravens and seagulls. A group of sea lions cavorted on the far side of the boat dock the other day and we’re on the lookout for humpback and orca whales that are known to cruise by.
The tides change twice daily, so the shoreline can be anywhere from 8ft to 45 ft. from our RV. Our big front window is a great viewing spot when it’s too chilly to sit outside. Yesterday, an eagle landed on the rocks in front of our RV to eat some dinner and allowed Dave to get about 6 ft to take some shots.
Who has time to paint when there’s so much activity to distract me??? All kidding aside, Sunday, I got up early to paint the view from the front of our RV and had so much fun watching the wildlife and busy workers that it took almost twice as long to finish the work!