Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Haines Alaska

Cruise Ships pass through from Skagway to the Ocean

Last night two cruise ships past by along the inlet headed out of Skagway to the Pacific Ocean.  In all, four cruise ships sailed through last night, and two today, along with the one which docked here in Haines.  For every dozen cruise ships that go into Skagway, Haines gets one…which does not bother us at all.  It is nice seeing them sail on, but the tourist that get off of them don’t need to be dealt with by us.  Winking smile

Cruise Ships pass through from Skagway to the Ocean     Cruise Ships pass through from Skagway to the Ocean 

Cruise Ships pass through from Skagway to the Ocean

Here are three of the Skagway Cruise ships above…the two last night are at the top, and you can see them in the first picture way above.  The third one came through this evening.  When we were in Skagway nearly seven weeks ago, we saw each of these three ships…or ones like them.

Map of Skagway to Haines via Kayak, from www.seatrails.org

The above map is a “Kayak Route” between Skagway and Haines.  The two cities are only a dozen miles apart as the crow (or should I say Raven) flies, but by car, unless you load the car on a large ferry, it is 350 driving miles away.

Road map from Haines to Skagway


Roadless portion between Haines and Skagway
One would think that they would connect these two cities by some sort of road.  In fact, there is a partial road which leads from each city toward the other…but they end way short.  The map to the left shows, in red, the area which still needs to have a road.  The blue shows the road and the ferry route.  The map above is the current road map between the two cities…which is a long 350 miles, going into British Columbia, into the Yukon, back into British Columbia and back into Alaska.  Some people, especially those who are not in a large RV, will load up on the ferry.  For us, it would cost around $350 for the RV, car, and both of us.



Fast Ferry, Haines to Skagway

Above is the “Fast Ferry” which connects both cities for pedestrians only (and bicycles) which only cost $71 round trip…extra $5 for a bicycle each way.  The trip takes about 40 minutes once it leaves the dock.  The fast ferry also goes from either of these cities to Juno too…for $170 you can get a day package which includes a trip to a glacier outside of Juno.

Pat and Ron enjoying the view

We really like it here at Oceanside RV Park in Haines.  It is a relaxing time.  The lady who owns and operates the park is the greatest!  Just after we got setup yesterday, our new neighbors Pat and Ron and their dog Murphy, came by.  (That is them sitting out along the water above.)  Pat came first and knocked on our open door. 
"Hello, you don't know me but..." We have all been there before, right?  Makes you wonder what is coming next, right?? Well here it is....

"...you don't know me, but, I have been praying for this little one (Skruffy who is at the screen door looking out at her), I have been following your travels through Alaska, we have missed each other but have been to the same places, and I am just so glad to be able meet this little one and know she is doing well...I have prayed and prayed, and when I read the "breath in, breath out" blog you posted, tears came to my eyes, I thought you had lost her, I am so glad she is ok..."
She added that at first she wanted to slap me after she read the post because while reading it she thought we must have lost poor little Skruffy and she cried all the way through it…but she said she understood the emotions we were under, and really appreciated the post.  Come to find out that they travel in their Roadtrek Motorhome Van, but live in a 5th wheel just 30 miles away from our condo in Florida.  What a small world it is, what a nice couple they are…and Murphy too.
 
Bald Eagle in Haines

Haines is known for the many bald eagles that live here during the winter.  Around mid-October there will be some 200-400 eagles around the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve near Haines.  The river remains above freezing during the cold winter giving eagles access to food…lots of food when the chum salmon run in October.  Some eagles stay year around, while other take off, returning in the fall.  This guy above was right along the beach area in front of the RV Park.

Totum Pole (left), Cruise Ship in Harbor, Memorial (right)

Above is a monument to those who lost their life, mostly on the waters, a totum pole, and the cruise ship that came into Haines this morning.  The wording on the monument is as follows:
"AS ALASKANS WE STRIVE TO MEET THE CHALLENGES
   OF THE SOMETIMES HARSH AND UNFORGIVING
      ENVIRONMENT OF THE LAST FRONTIER.
THIS MEMORIAL IS DEDICATED TO THE SPIRIT OF
  OUR LOVED ONES, WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES
   FACING THOSE CHALLENGES IN A PLACE THEY
       LOVED AND CHOSE TO CALL HOME.
THEIR VOICES ECHO ON THE WIND, THEIR SPIRITS
   SOAR ABOVE THE CLOUDS AND THEIR LOVE
   SURROUNDS US IN THE BEAUTY OF ALASKA.
THEY ARE GONE BUT WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN."
Haines Harbor

This is a shop of the small harbor…the RV park is just beyond the harbor.

Nightingale Boat     Keystone Driller

Above, the boat Nightingale greats you at the entrance to the harbor (walking or driving), and right is a Keystone Driller used in the gold mining industry back in the early 1900’s.

View of the Taiya Inlet to the north towards Skagway

Drove along “Beach Road” to the south of Haines and got this picture of the Taiya Inlet to the north…it is that break in the mountains in the center of the pictures.  Skagway is on the northern end of this inlet, and the cruise ships come and go through this inlet, right past Haines, which is to the left just out of the picture.

Cruise Ship from Skagway meets Cruise Ship from Haines     Cruise Ship from Skagway meets Cruise Ship from Haines

As the last ship leaves from Skagway, and the ship that was here in Haines meet out in the inlet, it is time to call it a night.  Well, it will be night in another few hours (10 pm and still very light outside).  Tomorrow we hope to visit a few of the state parks that are in the area, weather allowing of course.


4 comments:

  1. I read and have seen documentary about cruise ships and the amount of damage they do to ocean fish, whales, otters, etc. The motors from these ships disrupts whale, porpoises communication sounds and plows through other ocean habitat drowning baby otters and separating mother and baby from one another. What a sad, uncaring species we have become....the very thing we want to enjoy we destroy...wildlife. It would have been better to canoe up and down the coast or use wind sails instead of oily loud motors.

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    1. Not much into Cruise Ships myself, but as with all forms of transportation, including walking, something is going to be harmed...limiting the harm is definitely good.

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  2. We took the train from Whitehorse to Skagway and there were three cruise ships docked there and tons of tourists. Couldn't get out of there fast enough and I was glad we didn't make the side trip with our travel trailer.

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    1. When we were in Skagway in late May and early June, the cruise ships would take over the town. However, where we camped, Garden City RV Park, the crowds did not reach it. Around 5 pm you can go to just about any restaurant because the cruise ships were getting ready to depart and the crowds would be gone. But driving downtown around noon was a nightmare. Also, all those shops down close to the docks in the downtown area are not owned by locals anymore, they are owned by the Cruise Ship Companies...think about that one...

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