I get this question a lot. Especially from women & especially regarding shopping. We have a few gorgeous & creative stores here that sells outdoor supplies, gifts or local art, but you could certainly cover the shopping options here pretty fast. If you need more shopping options & online is just not cutting it for you, then the ferry can be a handy option. The schedule was designed to help Islanders shop! It leaves early in the morning from Hollis and heads back in the afternoon. If you know what you want, you can dash over to Ketchikan for a day, or stay longer if you just need a change in scenery.
Ok, so we might not have any big stores, but what we do have is scenery! So the best way to make the most of POW is to enjoy the marvels of nature! But watch out - it can be good for you - all that beauty, serenity, peace & exercise!
Let's start with lakes. POW has some truly spectacular lakes. And usually you will not see any, or many people at all. There is so much stunning nature here, & lots of space to enjoy it!
Above is Klawock Lake. There's nothing like a spot of fishing or simple boating to put a smile on everyone's face! This is an easy spot to get to, with a basic boat launch off the Klawock-Hollis Hwy. It is a freshwater lake known for it's trout fishing. It is a HUGE lake with so many places to explore! There are many privately owned lots on the far side of the lake, & a couple of summer cabins.
Off the road directly there is even Klawock Beach, a hidden lake front beach, great for those few days when even Alaskans want to sunbathe!
Or head north for about 35 minutes and you will reach Ball's Lake, just past Control Lake on the way to Thorne Bay. This is a favorite spot for anyone who likes an easy scenic walk, kayaking, camping or simply a day out BBQing!
The camp sites here are beautiful, separated by trees with sites for bigger groups. There is only a pit toilet so you must pack in and pack out everything. Fees are low and the walk around the lake is stunning, mostly boardwalk and all flat. It takes around 45 minutes to an hour to do the loop. Kayaking, fishing & exploring here will give you days of serene delight!
And on the way home, we saw a bear having a nice sunbathe in the middle of the highway! Yes, things can get a little too relaxing around here sometimes!...
So you may have noticed that one day we were called Coastal, and the next day we were our own office! For the curious, here is the story...
We love Coastal, they are all the best, sweetest & most genuine Realtors around. They are all top quality people. We had no plans to leave, we like them that much! But times & needs change. Coastal decided to join the Keller Williams franchise, but the more we thought about it, the more it just did not feel like the right choice for us or our island clients.
So at the very last minute before joining, clarity struck us. We wanted to stay independent. We decided that this was the way we could best continue to serve our island community & keep it local.
It was not convenient timing, but bless Coastal's wonderful broker Mary and the whole team for their amazing help & support. We love them and it was sad to leave, but we are continuing to work together so that we can support all our clients in the best way possible.
So where did the listings go?
When an agent leaves an office, the listings legally stay with the office. So you will not see my or Ron's names at the bottom of our previous listings any longer. However Coastal and our new office - Prince of Wales Realty or POW Realty for short - are still working together to look after our sellers. Coastal are the official agents, but Ron & I are still here, helping, it's just that it is in an unofficial capacity now. We all both wanted our clients to have more, not less with this changeover, and we are happy to say that it is working!
Why the name?
Prince of Wales Realty was the name of a realty that existed here on the island a while back. One of the problems that Ron & I continued to face was that people thought that we lived in Ketchikan. So despite having a few fun new name choices, we went with the more unoriginal name as it tells it as it is. Yup, this is us, this is where we live, & this is what we do!
So what now?
Fun! Stay tuned as we have lots of great ideas to help us to continue to make our service better for you. You will see new listings pop up & a few new features. Email me if you have ideas! The amount of support we have received from our community even in this short amount of time has been heartwarming. We are here for our community, and should you wish to join us, we are here for you too! We love helping people follow their dream or discover a lifestyle that is a little different. So if that is you, you are in the right place!
Prince of Wales Island is storybook beautiful and I often think it feels like living in the National Geographic Channel. I love that it is a rainforest, with air so fresh it is delicious to breathe in. I love that all the pure water I could ever need falls freely and easily from the sky and that there are also many springs and wells with sparkling, hydrating, wonderful water. I love that there is space, so much that you can really relax and forget about the rest of the world.
I love that you can live more naturally. This is a place where DIY’ers thrive and share, with everything from soap making classes to canning classes to how to find the most delicious wild mushrooms! Here you can hunt and fish, and with a climate this mild you can grow greens & potatoes so easily that I don’t think it counts as gardening. People tan hides and make drums or baskets from cedar; there is no shortage of fascinating things to learn.
I also loved the towns. There are quite a few of them here, spread out, each a little different. People know each other and look out for each other. The minute someone is in trouble, the community helps. Life is slower. The long summer days make you want to do everything all at once! And then there is always more than enough time to cozy up in winter with a good book, or whatever new project you want to master.
And there are some serious bonuses – being surrounded by wildlife, quietly followed by seals while kayaking, surprised by whales breeching when fishing and watching and bears forage on the beach is not something I will ever get tired of. And during this past crazy year, 2020, well let’s just say that we all appreciated this special place even more…
Stay tuned... Next we will be presenting a series on how to develop remote land & live off the grid!
It’s a funny question. Ever since I moved here, I get people all the time saying things like “Wow… Alaska…. You’re so lucky! Wish I could too… But I can’t…
So let’s start here. In this post I’ll tell you why we moved here, and later I’ll answer some common questions relating why you can too!
I was in my early 20s when I first started looking for a great place to settle.
I wanted a place that had clean water, clean air, and a more natural as well as enjoyable way of life.
I wanted to be more in charge of my own fate: I grew up in a city and quite honestly they always scared me; cities just had too many people, and too few resources.
I wanted to be more independent, to get back to the basics, and live somewhere I could either grow some of my own food fairly easily, or where I could hunt, fish and gather a good proportion of it.
I also wanted to go back in time a little, back to a day when kids could go to the park safely, where life was a little slower, and where the good old fashioned community helped themselves.
Admittedly as an Australian, Alaska was not even on my radar at the time, I had been travelling around Australia trying to find that perfect place. But one day, a strange call came. A very good friend of mine, Ron, invited me to come for a visit…
Ron had moved to Alaska many years before after quitting the computer industry in Silicone Valley. His thoughts at the time were – “Is this it? Work until I retire? Make lots of money so I can get a yuppie wife, and have yuppie kids who want to go to the yuppie mall while I live in stress & age at high speed?” That picture did not leave him feeling satisfied so he headed north to find freedom…
He’d been attracted to Alaska for many years and had spent many a vacation travelling to different areas, exploring and fishing. He wanted to move to Alaska but could not figure out where. The northern towns were amazing, but too cold. Other towns on the road system would get flooded with tourists in summer, totally changing the town and lifestyle.
So enter, Prince of Wales Island. It seemed to tick all the boxes. It was southern, and had very mild summer & winter temperatures. It was an island, & thus did not get flooded with endless campervans. It even had an extra bonus - a great road system where you could drive to many small towns spread over a wide area, you were not just stuck around one main town. POW also had islands dotted everywhere, and this opened up a whole new world to explore! It had some of the world’s best hunting & fishing & the climate was also mild enough that you could still grow many foods easily. It seemed perfect! But was it? Well no, there was, this thing called the rain… And POW got an awful lot of it…
Ron had a mental block over the rain for a long time. And then all of a sudden, he got over it. One day he suddenly realized that if it were not for the rain, Prince of Wales Island would be expensive, overcrowded, and not so wild & free anymore.
With that realization, he packed the car, put it on the ferry, and moved to Prince of Wales Island! I came to visit some years later and never left…
Back by demand is our Live Your Alaskan Dream blog… You may remember it from years ago, but that was before blogging was a big thing and sadly it was all lost. Then, I blogged about building without electricity or roads, what you do in a rainforest without shopping malls for entertainment, how to get your goat on your boat, or your cats & dogs in your kayak. In short, all about the very special adventures that living on a remote Alaskan island can bring you!
Anyway, we are back and I shall write for you again. If there is something you want to know, drop me a line & and I’ll do my best!
Meet Dixie... Our new puppy! She's half Aussie Cattle Dog/ Blue Heeler and half Island Mutt Mix! With kayaking it's best to start them early!