Friday, October 12, 2012

Haines Junction to Haines

King's Throne on Kathleen Lake

I'd really like to do this trip justice, but I'm afraid if I wait that long, I'll never finish. So, since I'm not a we go.

Saturday morning we left Haines Junction early but first we stopped at the combined Library / Liquor store. Daddy X used to say there are two things to do in Alaska in the winter: read or drink. The Yukon is so efficient, they made it a one stop shop.

Then we swung past the Senior Drop-in Center which used to be the weigh station and winter check-in station. Back in 1963 the Haines road opened for the winter for the first time. Travelers would stop at check-in stations with their name and information. Their information was passed on to the next station and if you didn't arrive in a reasonable amount of time, the mounties would come looking for you.

Our next stop was Kathleen Lake. We had heard there was a beautiful hike here up to the King's throne. It was a lovely morning so we took a little stroll. Mr. X and I will have to come back to finish the hike.

Next we stopped near Lake Dezadeash for a quick walk up to the rock glacier. This is a rock/gravel formation left over from a dead glacier. It was pretty amazing how it was shaped...and the view breathtaking.

It was another nice little hike. I spotted some big tracks in the leaves, but we didn't see any other signs of bears in the area.

Million Dollar Falls

Can you tell we are approaching tideland? The sky got progressively dark as we drove along. But the fall colors came back in brilliance. This place is buried under yards of snow in the winter - and is perfect for snowmobiling. Not that I know anything about that.

We decended out of the mountains and re-entered the United States. Mr. X was in the driver's seat so he had the pleasure of answering the agent's questions -- he and Mom gave the guy our travelogue. The guy had recently transferred from Skagway so he pretended to be interested in our Golden Circle trip.

Again we forgot about the time change going back to Alaska; we had an extra hour to kill.

We stopped at this lake to take pictures of trumpeter swans.

Went out of our way to stop at Mosquito Lake

Saved a drowning dragon fly.

Hung out with birdwatchers at the Bald Eagle Preserve.

Then we headed into town, and to the Chilkat lake where everyone and their brother were out fly fishing with really long poles. One guy stood on the edge of the road and had his pole over his shoulder while watching other anglers. He didn't realize his pole was so long it was blocking the entire road. I politely meep-meeped (with my voice) and he laughed at his faux pas.

We checked in at the ferry and they told us we could leave for another hour since the boat wasn't in yet. We headed back to Haines to see the old fort - we didn't find much - the hammer museum, library, and the IGA. Finally we found a place with ice cream! It was even reasonably priced. Mom had abandoned her cane so Mr. X took off running down the street with it like some pompous gentlemen, but it sure stopped traffic. Nobody wanted to run down the poor fool.

We boarded the Malaspina and ate dinner. The Malaspina is the sister-ship to the Taku which is the boat that Mr. X's dad rode while he lived in SE Alaska in the 60's. Both ships were inaugurated in 1963 and are still in service.

Although it's only a 4h30m hour trip back to Juneau, we got a stateroom so we could stretch out and catch some zzz (before 9 am church). We knew we were back in Juneau when we landed at midnight - it was raining cats and dogs.


  1. Hammer museum? So was that the founder's last name or was it a museum about hammers? Either way, it was likely exhilarating.

    1. Hammers as in tools. I wish I had pictures.


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