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Published: February 6th 2012
Sunday, July 31st
8am ferry to Haines. The only other time we travelled with our car in a ferry was in Washington. From Bremmerton to Seattle. So, it was interesting to see cars from different states(US..some as far as Arizona) & other provinces(Ontario was popular, I noticed). It was the first time for S to be on any vessel in ocean waters(though typically, you don't get to the ocean between Skagway-Haines).
It was a very short 40 min or so cruise & the ferry had a movie theatre that played some Alaska movie. When I have more time, maybe I should watch it. Mainland Alaska memories seem so long ago.
The ferry had a neat dining area that served decent food.
We spent most of our ferry time there as S had more space to run/see around. We saw many waterfalls on the way. Though the weather was cloudy, the water still had the green tinge that so reminded me of our Seward cruise to Kenai Fjords.
We reached Haines at 9.00am & we seemed surprised at once at how non-touristy the place was. We should've liked that instantly,
but I guess, after so long, we may have becomes tourists. Time to set our priorities right again. 😊 The one thing that struck us immediately was the size of the island. While in Skagway, you won't need a car(mostly), Haines has miles of roadway. It connects to Yukon, Canada via road. Pss
...Most of the Alaska ferries coming from SFO/Seattle/Vancouver stop at Skagway. Not Haines. You need a car to get around.
S fell sick by now. She had developed much mucus & a pretty bad fever too. Since the weather was not co-operating, we decided to take it easy as we still had few more days of vacation. After stocking up on groceries, we dropped our stuff at the kitchen in Bear Creek Cabins
. It seemed like a pretty neat place. Like most of the places we had stayed on our previous trip to the Big Dipper State.
Just a stone throw away from Canada, but Alaska is so different. Good different. In terms of preservation, culture, tourism & transportation. America sure gets the best buys! *sigh*
S fell asleep. So, we headed to The Bald Eagle preserve on Haines Highway.
The lady at the visitor center informed us that the eagles were not as many as they would be in winter & warned us that we may not see many of them at the preserve, but Ganesh still wanted to go. We stopped at every exhibit, but the peak was at mile 20. That was supposed to be the best viewing area. Ganesh took the .25 mile narrated walk while I sat back with S. I think we saw an eagle.
There was a fishing wheel on our drive & we stopped by to see. It helped check the quantity/quality of fish running by for the season.
We got back home & relaxed in our cabin. It is definitely one of the best/cleanest places we have stayed. And I made sure the owner Mike, knew how we felt.
We let S relax with some Dora video which was well received. 😊 Monday, Aug 1st
S was still recovering. So, we headed to the town to check out the town. Everything was closed yesterday. Partly because it was a sunday but mostly because a state fair was happening in town.
Kings stores seemed like the best possible place to pick up a magnet. Afterwards, we stopped by the small boat pier. It was still cold & windy but we managed to see some mergansers feeding. Not sure how they managed to eat the small fish they caught. Their webbed feet did not seem to be helping.
S seemed to eat better & we were relieved when she took a nap. It was much needed for her to get better. So, we targeted the other side of town towards Chilkoot Lake State Recreation Area. We saw many bald eagles on our way. The best view ever was to see an eaglet catch a fish & fly away to get off from a seagull & another eagle. It flew straight towards us but G did not have the camera handy. I still remember the features I saw about that eagle. It was something.
We saw so many anglers & fly fishers here. I remember the lady at the visitor center saying something about bears in the area. But the river sure seemed like there would be salmons. Loads of them. We stopped by deer rock
to view. A little later, we crossed a weir where they were counting the # of sockeye salmons going up & down. I was surprised initially to see a Bear aware-no stopping area warning. Just along the weir. The Weir was a Chilkat Lake project where they measure the quantity & quality of the salmons going both up & down the river.
A little further up, G spotted 2 grizzlies in the water. The lake came into view & apparently it was a salmon spawning area. We saw a family of a mom & 3 cubs. They were in the water for obvious reasons & the mother was nifty in fish. G later told me that he felt that the mom was catching dead fish. IN a while, we also spotted a bald eagle in the area. By this time a crowd had gathered. Mama bear saw the crowd, but did not seem bothered, though I am sure she would have liked to have a private dinner. It was intriguing to see that she ate every single fish she caught. She did not give one away to the cubs though they were almost fighting with her for
it. Probably the only way to let them find their own food. Amazing to see a bear eating a salmon in little less than 30 seconds. She caught many. With a large crowd gathering, they walked away down the stream to the weir. There was bound to be a heap of fish there. But there was a worker there & he shooed the bear away with a stick. The bears ran away like dogs.😞 By now, the roads piled up with cars stopping everywhere. Quite a site!
We soon found our way home. S was recovering & we wanted her to relax. Back at our cabin, we watched a Harry Potter movie.😊
Tomorrow, another ferry to that will take us to the capital city. A longer ferry time. About 4 hrs.
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