Alaska 

Days 18 - August 28, 2009

Miles Traveled: N/A

Notable Stops: Left Haines, Alaska, Arrived in Skagway, Alaska

Daily High:

Daily Low:

Notable Weather: Rained in the wee morning hours, partially sunny when we woke up, partially sunny all day until evening, cloudy and rainy evening to night, windy and rainy all night in Skagway

 

Starting the Day Off Right

 

Today was a good day.

 

When we woke up at the RV park in Haines we saw rays of sun shinning through the tarp and onto the port hole in the door of the Teardrop. When we opened the door and poked our heads out from under the tarp we discovered it was not an illusion. The sun really was poking through the clouds. However, it was still raining. There was a rainbow stretching across the sky.

 

A guy at the RV park informed us the pleasant hole in the clouds was called a ďsucker hole.Ē I didnít care what it was called. I was willing to enjoy it for however long or short it lasted.

 

So, we folded up our tarp in the sun and rain with the rainbow in the background. After folding up the tarp and packing everything up we called Al and Carol to tell them weíd meet them for lunch at the restaurant. Instead, they invited us to their house and we could all leave for lunch from there.

 

A Wonderful Tour Around Town

 

The clouds lifted just high enough for us to see about half way up the mountains surrounding Haines. The drive to Al and Carolís was absolutely beautiful and we couldnít even see the tops of the snow-covered mountains rising from the ocean.

 

Al and Carol have the most beautiful view of the inlet and mountains from their living room. In fact the view is so spectacular that Al shares it with the world by way of the web cam in his living room pointed out at the inlet and mountains and a weather station on his porch. The view and Haines weather conditions can be viewed on Alís web page at www.hainesweather.com.

 

After visiting and enjoying the view out the picture windows in the living room we all piled into Al and Carolís car and headed back into town for lunch.

 

We ate at a restaurant called The Bakery (I think). They had a bakery, American food and Thai food. I went with a Thai dish called basil chicken, which was a stir-fry with basil, chicken and the other standard stir fry vegetables. It was really good. I canít wait to have basil again so I can make basil chicken at home.

 

After lunch Al and Carol showed us around Haines. They took us to a museum (the name of which escapes me right now). The museum had a stuffed version of every animal in Haines on display. It was a really neat museum to visit.

 

They also took us to two parks (the names of both escape me now and Iíll have to look at a map later to find the names). The first park had a building that was closed for the season but the deck on the back of the building was open. The views of the mountains, inlet and glaciers from that deck were spectacular.

 

The other park we went to is on a lake and known for bear viewing. It was too early in the afternoon to see bears (they normally come out in the evening I guess). We did, however, see a bold eagle on a rock with a fish that was about two feet long. The eagle was trying to fly away with the fish. But the fish was just too big. We watched the eagle and his fish for a while. Then we drove further down the road to look at the lake.

 

Driving around town with Al and Carol was even more fun than it would have been if weíd just done it on our own because Al and Carol know just about everyone in town. This meant we really got a feel for the type of town Haines really is.

 

Dinner at the Elks Lodge

 

After touring town we went back to Al and Carolís. Matt gave Al a ride in the Speedster. After that we all visited some more. Al and Carol invited Matt and I to Hamburger Friday down at the Elkís Lodge. We were happy to join them there for dinner before going to the ferry terminal.

 

There are only about 2,000 people in Haines and in many ways it reminds me of Colfax, California.

 

Anyway, it seemed like half the town ate dinner at the Elks Lodge on Hamburger Friday. While we were there the place was a buzz about out car and our trip. It was really fun to talk to everyone, answer their questions and enjoy their company. Touring town already made me realize how much I miss Grass Valley but eating at the Elks Lodge really made me realize how much I miss Grass Valley and the small town atmosphere that goes along with it.

 

After burgers at the Elks Lodge Matt and I went to the ferry terminal there in Haines. We hopped the ferry with the Speedster and Teardrop for Skagway.

 

Matt and I really liked Haines. There are a lot of things in Alaska, the Yukon and British Columbia that we would like to come back to see and do, however, returning to Haines is at the top of the list. Matt and I really liked it there. We also really enjoyed spending the day with Al and Carol and appreciated their hospitality.

 

A Wet Farewell to Haines

 

Sitting in line in the Speedster at the ferry terminal, it started to rain. It rained like it did yesterday but fortunately; we didnít have to sit in it all day. We only had to sit in it until we boarded the ferry (about an hour). However, that was long enough to realize that our rubber rain suites are toast. They do not keep the water out anymore. We were not soaked all the way through all our layers like we were yesterday. But, when we got on the ferry and took our rain jackets off we realized the rain soaked all the way through the rain jackets.

 

We will definitely be getting new rain suites or a lot of Scotch Guard.

 

Grandma Margaret

 

Today Grandma Margaret (who is 99 years old) had back surgery. Hopefully this will relieve her sciatic pain. While on the ferry, Matt called his mom to see how Grandma Margaret was doing and how the surgery went. The surgery went well. Grandma is doing well for her age. Before surgery Kathy read Grandma our travel log to pass the time. Grandma liked it.

 

Skagway

 

The ferry ride to Skagway is only an hour long (once the ferry is underway).  The ferry left Haines about 8:30 pm and got to Skagway about 9:30 pm. The name of the boat is the Malaspina.

 

Once in Skagway we drove up Broadway to 15th and found the RV park right on the corner of State and 15th. It only sprinkled on us a bit between the ferry and the RV park but it did start raining a bit harder when we began tarpping the Speedster and Teardrop.

 

We were surprised at how much warmer it was in Skagway tonight than it was last night in Haines.

 

Campsite in Haines Glacier Seen from Haines
Cannery on the Water in Haines Cannery on the Water in Haines
Glacier and Waterfall Seen from Haines Matt and Jess
Building in Downtown Haines Building in Downtown Haines
Looking at Downtown Haines
Bald Eagle Struggling to Fly off with Large Salmon
Inlet in Haines Speedster and Teardrop at Al and Carol's
Haines Ferry Terminal Matt, Teardrop and Speedster at the Haines Ferry Terminal
Alaska 2009

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