Leaving Haines Junction
Hwy 3 from Haines Junction
Geo: 59.2367, -135.437
It had rained heavily during the night, but not enough to make an impact on the bike's muddy condition. As we packed up to leave Beaver Creek, the sky was still covered with heavy, grey clouds. With the forecast for 30% chance of showers, we decided to forego the rain gear again. Taking off after a quick breakfast at Buckshot Betty's, we got on the road about 9:00, with temps in the low 60's.
The 180 miles to Haines Junction was an ugly ride; a combination of poor roads, low cloud cover, perpetual mist, and occasional stretches of light rain. We were definitely ready for warm food and coffee by the time we reached the junction of Hwy 1 and Hwy 3.
After our stop for lunch and fuel, we headed down Haines Highway. The transition was like a whole new day: great pavement and partially sunny skies. After about an hour, we crossed back into B.C. again, marveling at the eye-popping vistas and glaciers of the Coastal Range. The remainder of the trip to Haines along the Chilkat River was some of the best scenery so far, especially with bright blue skies and contrasting clouds.
checking in at the ferry terminal, we had a quick visit to some shops and the information center where we picked up some tips on recent bears sightings. We drove about 7 miles north of the ferry terminal to the mouth of Chilkoot River and lake and spent some time looking for wildlife with no success except for a few eagle sightings.
Returning to town, we stocked up on a few groceries for our ferry trip, and grabbed some dinner at a Thai restaurant. We had plenty of time to get in the queue for the ferry, so we headed back down along the Chilkoot River one more time for a last look. This time our efforts were rewarded. Across the river from our view point was a large grizzly bear foraging through the tall grass. A little farther down the river were a mother grizzly and her cub. We sat in awe, watching these amazing beasts, as the baby frolicked with its mother at water's edge. Along with some great bald eagle sightings near our ferry, it was the perfect ending for our final day riding in Alaska, especially finishing the day with some great 70 degree weather.
got the bike on the ferry along with a few dozen other riders, and strapped it down for the trip to Bellingham. After getting all our luggage and provisions up to our room we relaxed with a cocktail in the lounge just as the ferry pulled away from the dock at 11:15 pm. For the next 3½ days we would be traveling the inside passage, making several stops along the way, and finally arriving in Bellingham, WA, on Friday morning, after a cruise of almost 1,000 miles.
Tot: 2.777s; Tpl: 0.051s; cc: 14; qc: 46; dbt: 0.0393s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb