Sunday, July 14, 2013

Haines, Alaska, to Juneau, Alaska!

We've been sleeping in a bit recently. Can't believe we have actually accomplished that with the light outside. We have found getting to sleep easy as it now is getter “darker.” By 10:30 it's too dark to read outside. The other part of that is that at 3:30 a.m. when I first wakeup, it is already light outside. . . enough to read by. It is pretty cool actually, because it is different from that to which we are accustomed.

We broke camp around 10 and drove into town. The one market was open, so we went in and looked around. We also went into an Alaska sports store and checked out their merchandise. Terry bought some “gorilla tape” so I'm wondering what we have that needs fixing. LOL We stopped in at “Rod's Alaska” which is a shop of items made in Alaska. The owner was in the shop and we had a very interesting visit with her. Ninety-nine percent of the goods she sells are made in Alaska by local artists and she sells them on consignment. It was a neat shop because there were a lot of different items offered that showcased each one's talents. We visited as we looked around the store and we ended up buying some stuff. Terry bought a knife with a wood handle which the owner's husband makes himself. It is beautiful and is quite a work of art. While we were in there, I asked her where I could find information about the cemetery we saw along the road to the airport. We had seen it yesterday and there was no signage and no place to stop, so we couldn't check it out. Turns out the store owner's husband, Rod, had taken it upon himself a few years ago to create a project to clean up that cemetery using some local youth. They repainted the fencing and straightened and cleaned up the headstones. It is an old Tlinget cemetery and the remains of their village are behind the cemetery over the hill. The town has been reluctant to post any signage or provide information on the village, thinking there isn't much interest in it, but I would like to know more.

We then drove out past the ferry terminal where we will be loading at 4 p.m. Our ferry was there, but loading for a run over to Skagway and back at which time we will board. The Chilkoot State Park was five miles past the dock and the scenery getting there was spectacular. It is another warm and sunny day here. Yesterday we had to shed our jackets and eventually turn on the air conditioning because it was warming up. At the end of the road, the Chilkoot Lake appears. It's a beautiful lake and a lot of people were taking advantage of the weather to fish.

On the way back out, we stopped and took pictures at the river. This is a river where bears fish, but because there don't seem to be a lot of salmon right now, we didn't see any fishing bears. We did see some people fishing, but we didn't see them catching anything. Perhaps the bears know more than we do. LOL We stopped at one turnout and took pictures, then we had a quick lunch. As we drove on out, I spotted an eagle fishing. I actually got some pictures of him flying. It was a quick setup and I was shooting through the windshield with sun glaring in, so some reflection is present, but it was fun to see the eagles anyway. We also saw one from across the river. She flew up into a tree and we noticed nest on top of the tree. So cool.

We came to the ferry terminal and got checked in. We decided to stay here and get in line, which we did. We are the first one in our row. Whoo hoo!

The boat arrived on time and we drove onto the ferry and got parked. Then we headed up to the observation deck where we stayed for the first couple hours of the trip. We saw a lot of great scenery, including glaciers and whales. We passed by an octagonal lighthouse sitting out on a rock. Later we went down to the cafeteria and had some dinner. They had quite a variety of food items available and it wasn't too bad, but the dining room was a madhouse with kids, families, etc. It was very loud, so as soon as we were finished, we headed outside and up to the solarium. That is the top deck on the boat and half of the deck is covered but open. It was very pleasant, views were great, and very few kids. As the evening waned on, it started getting a little cooler, so we headed back down and read in the computer room for a bit, then on to the observation deck again. Within a short time we were headed into port in Juneau. Interestingly enough, there was an eagle perched on a light pole right at the dock. He seemed quite interested in our boat docking and maintained a constant vigil not more than six feet up the pole the entire time we were pulling in. When we left the deck to go down to the motorhome, he was still perched there. Pretty cool!

We managed to get out in good shape and found our campground quickly. Our site was waiting for us and we got in and set up by 10:45 p.m.

Till next time. . . 

Dale

1 comment:

Tab & Deanna said...

Sounds like you are having a great time and some terrific sights! Have fun and be safe. We start heading for home Wednesday morning, Yellowstone was beautiful but unfortunately full of idiots and rude people :-(