Chief Shake's Lake 4

For my birthday, Martina treated me to a river trip up the Stikine again; this time to pick mushrooms.  On this Google Earth photo, we live in the upper left hand corner near Petersburg (yellow dot).  I drove down to Banana Point and jumped on a jetboat with 12 other people and off we went; along the bottom left of this photo, then up the tributary river into Chief Shakes Lake.   This lake boasts icebergs from the Stikine Icefields.  On the far-side of the central mountain cluster is LeConte Glacier, an earlier post which you can revisit here.

Chief Shake's Lake

Here is one iceberg–you can see why it’s tough to get through.  Castle Mountain is beyond.  We have three areas to sample mushrooms and one is near Chief Shakes Lake which, quite by caveat, happens to be accessible today so our fearless guide (Breakaway Adventures in Wrangell) nudges a few bergs out of our way and in we go……

Chief Shake's Lake 3

This is the upper end of Shakes Lake where the glacier calves off into the lake and slowly makes its way down to the south end of the lake–the river system joining the Stikine.  The icebergs don’t calve off like the LaConte just to the west–because there is no tidal action.   We’re lucky to get this far in, especially with perfect weather.  Breakaway uses jetboats which have a draft of less than 6″.  Eric, our driver, is very knowledgeable.


This is our lunch spot.  I’ve brought along smoked steelhead, cream cheese, baguette, hot tea and an apple–a lunch on par with the view.  Lots of beaver action here–not sure what they’re trying to dam though.

Chief Shakes Iceberg

The bergs build up at the lake outlet–we’re not only lucky to get in but also to get back out.


Blueberries abound–we pick them all and my friends bring over a blueberry-nagoonberry crisp that night for dinner.


OK–I mentioned mushrooms and this is what I found–all hedgehogs, of course (Dentinum repandum with a few Dentinum umbilicatum thrown in).  One yellow ‘winter’ chantrelle, too.  And out on our point back home……


……I score a couple of pie-pan sized boletes;  it’s my lucky day.  I make up my special mushroom sauce; here it is:  pan fry bacon bits til crispy, add sliced/diced mushrooms and cook until done, water evaporates and the bacon grease can be drained off.  Add pulp of two or three large tomatoes and a tablespoon of hoisin sauce and proportionate amount of half & half and reduce volume into a thick sauce. Balance these ingredients to your taste–don’t over-do the hoisin.  Great with filet mignon.  Delicious.


What a fall day–week actually.  Back in Petersburg, our Sons of Norway lodge proudly greets anyone walking along Hammer Slough.


It’s time to row around a bit in the faering and work up an appetite.  Just beyond the faering I’m building a Traditional Norwegian “naust” or boatshed.  Stay tuned for this one.

Spruce Log Table

Finally, here’s the spruce log I harvested (previous blog) for the new boathouse; now a table in our outdoor kitchen.  This is a smaller butt which is 33″ tall and 29″ in diameter; sprouted in 1796, only three years after Alexander McKenzie crossed Canada, 10 years before Lewis & Clark’s Expedition.


We rendezvous in our outdoor kitchen and a full moon greets us over the Castle group and the Stikine River.  What a marvelous fall day!  Thanks Martina for the wonderful birthday present!

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