Saturday August 2nd. And early we do leave, 6:30 AM or so. For the first hour we didn’t see another vehicle in either direction. We make good time going south and east on the Alaska Highway until we hit a major reconstruction of the road. We are headed to Haines Junction at which point we leave the AH and go south towards Haines. Along the way we see a bobcat, it runs across the road and attempts to hide behind some bushes. We stop and it slowly retreats into the forrest. We make good time into Haines and Alaska is on another time zone so we ‘get’ another hour. We go to the ferry terminal and are able to secure a much improved ferry itinerary. We leave in four days, go to Juneau and stay for two days and then to Prince Rupert, BC and we get a cabin!
About Haines, I don’t think it is possible to post any pictures that will do it justice. Look up some images on the web by professionals with time and good equipment. It is not only the prettiest place we have seen on our trip, it may be the prettiest place we have ever been. There is a quote from John Muir (who helped found the place) that he recommended that young men not visit Haines because they will either never leave or they will spend the rest of their lives in disappointment. There are a few places that really appeal to Susan & I, like Morro Bay CA. And I can remember twice renting a canal boat in England and feeling just a wonderful combination of adventure and relaxation. Haines is like this and we commit to each other that we will find a way to spend more time here. We have a good fresh fish dinner. They only get one sea shipment of supplies and produce once a week (it used to be only once a month) but fish they have locally. Besides glaciers, waterfalls, beautiful fiords, and a charming town, Haines also has ....bears! Lots of them. We hear about a good spot and time to look for them and sure enough, there they are. Good thing I brought my spotting scope. Better than our binoculars, the scope lets me see their teeth and ear hairs all from a safe distance. Haines really closes up early, it looks like the two bars and one restaurant are still open but that's about it. The previous week was the Southeast Alaska Fair and reportedly the town was hopping but quiet suits us just fine. Besides all the rooms in town were taken and this week we have our pick of the best places. And we have a million dollar view from our B&B room. The other time Haines fills up is in November when the largest gathering of Bald Eagles occurs. Literally a thousand gather in the area. We would love to see that but need to make room reservations a year in advance.
Another nice thing about Haines is that it is a ‘real’ Alaskan town. Skagway averages four cruise ships a day so there are more tourists there than residents. Haines averages 1.5 cruise ships a week and they are probably the smaller ones. The shops here are set up for locals and the occasional traveler not like some ports where shops are set up for cruise ship tourists and owned by the cruise lines. Everyone knows each other, there is even an award winning (in Alaska) book Susan is reading about Haines entitled “If You Lived Here I’d Know Your Name”. Because there is only the weekly supply ship and things are expensive the locals rely on hunting and fishing for a major part of their food.

1 comment:

Dan Moran #272 said...

I'm convinced! I'll add Haines to the list!