Saturday, July 23, 2016

Eagles – Young and Old, Haines Alaska

Young Bald Eagles

Hey, see that guy over there with the camera…you go high, I’ll go low and we will bomb the heck out of him…” 

Well, that did not happen, but with all the birds flying around these coastal cities, I am surprised I have not gotten hit so far.  These two juvenile Bald Eagles were feeding, along with some older Bald Eagles and lots of Ravens, on some left over fish that someone left along the bank…heads, bones, tails.

 Bald Eagle        Bald Eagle

Eagles and Ravens were just about all we saw the past two days…except for the black bear that looked just like Bubba.  As we drove over to Chilkoot Lake, my dad called.  Within a half of a minute, this young black bear comes out of nowhere, runs across the road in front of us about 30 yards away.  We both thought that it was Bubba for a moment, the bear was just slightly larger than Bubba, and they both run nearly identically.  Before we could even think of getting the camera out…it was gone.

 Bald Eagle

This guy here was sitting out in front of the motorhome this morning…I opened up the window to get the shot.  Love all these eagles around here.

Oceanside RV Park

The Oceanside RV Park has a little over 20 sites which all face the ocean, more specifically, the Chilkoot Inlet.  You can see our car parked in front of our motorhome there on the left.  The sites are close, but the view just can’t be beat…equal to that of Seward in my opinion. 

Chilkoot Inlet

Of course, it looks much better when the clouds are covering up the view!

Chilkoot Inlet, Haines Cruise Ship Dock

There is room for one Cruise Ship at the docks in the Haines Harbor.  This is to the right of where we are camping, and can be seen if you walk out to the edge of the property leading down to the water.  The Cruise Ships that arrive here typically have about 400 people on them, so they don’t overwhelm the city at all.

Chilkoot River Totem Pole

Haines has many totem poles around the community.  This one is on the Chilkoot River leading towards Chilkoot Lake, where we went yesterday (Thursday) for a short day trip.  We took Skruffy, but left Bubba in the motorhome.  This is also when we saw the young black bear that looked just like Bubba…we thought he had decided to follow us.

Chilkoot River Salmon Counter

Along the river they have this fish gate.  If you look closely, you can see that it slightly “V” shaped.  All of the Salmon are forced into the “V”, and State Park staff count the salmon as they pass through the gate.  At the moment it was lunch time…but we talked to a Park Ranger who told us about it, and said they were there all morning, and will be there all afternoon.  I think they figure out a daily hourly rate, and then multiply that by 24 hours to get a day’s count.  He said that nearly 300 had already passed through during the morning.

Chilkoot River       Chilkoot River

On the left is a look at the river as it flows down toward the inlet.  On the right is a look at the river as it is flowing from Chilkoot Lake.

Chilkoot Lake

Chilkoot Lake is good size, fairly protected from the winds, and is a favorite with Kayakers. 

Bald Eagle

Along the river on our way back we spotted this eagle sitting in a tree looking over the river.  Soon the river will be loaded with Salmon, slowed by the fish counter, and many of the Salmon become fresh meat to the many eagles and the many Grizzly Bears that live in the area.  The State Park Ranger told us that they have not seen any “Brown Bears”, as they call them up here, for a number of weeks…but soon they will descend upon the river, along with lots of tourist.  It gets nasty…and his job is to help keep everyone under control and safe.

Welcome to Haines Sign

After our drive over to the lake, we dropped Skruffy off and we headed over to the Chilkat Restaurant & Bakery for a late lunch.  I had a burger, and Marcia had a Reuben Sandwich…along with a Lemon Bar to take home.  It was real good, homemade buns, and real friendly staff member who recently moved to Alaska with her parents from a small town in Missouri.  This will be their first winter in Alaska…good luck with that.

Skruffy enjoying the ride     Bubba sleeping through the ride

Today we headed out to Chilkat State Park for another quick day trip.  Skruffy really likes these trips…Bubba, well, he will sleep just about anywhere, and he sure won’t get up on our laps, he is not a lap dog.

Chilkat Inlet

This is the Chilkat Inlet, on the other side of the Chilkat Peninsula from the Chilkoot Inlet that we are parked along its shores.  Both the Chilkat and the Chilkoot are two of the three Coastal Tlingit tribes that once controlled this land which is now around Haines Alaska.  The third tribe is the Taku Tlingit tribe, which is over on the other side of Juneau…Juneau is about 90 miles from Haines via the Fast Ferry.

Chilkat Inlet

This is a view of the Chilkat Inlet looking out to the Pacific Ocean.  It has a narrow opening, and there are no large ports or cities for Cruise Ships to come to.

Chilkat Inlet

This is a view of the Chilkat Inlet looking towards the Chilkat River.  The road to Haines runs along the Chilkat River, and the Eagle Sanctuary is along the river.

Chilkat Inlet, harbor and Fish Packing plant

There is a small harbor for fishing boats, and that building across the water is the Haines Fish Packing plant, one of the oldest, if not the oldest, fish packing plant in Alaska.  Makes us wish we had a larger freezer.  Winking smile 

Boat in Chilkat Inlet

Truck Camper near Chilkat State Park

Just had a have a picture of this old boat, and especially this old truck camper.  Wonder if my good brother-in-law Arny could fix this old camper up for us if we brought it back?   It sure is a mess, but I have seen him turn a mess into a gem many times.

Chilkat State Park, near Lehunua Island    Chilkat State Park, near Lehunua Island

The road in Chilkat State Park ends here at Lehunua Island.  The island, in the top picture above, is really not an isolated island, since the road connects to it…but before the road I guess the island would be isolated during high tides.  The pictures below show the inlet to the left and to the right of the island.


Wish it was a clearer day because there is a nice waterfall coming off Rainbow Glacier just to the left of the island.  But we won’t be going back there even if nice weather arrives before we leave…the actual road in the State Park is real bad…full of large holes, rough ridges, and it is no wonder that the nice campground was totally empty.

That pretty much covers our activity the past two days.  It has been a nice, relaxing, and a bit colder few days…but it sure sounds better than the heatwave much of the lower 48 seem to be going through right now.  Nyah-Nyah


  1. I just LOVED those eagles! It's sure beautiful country!!

    1. We have Bald Eagles down by us in Florida, but seeing so many in this type of environment, is really something else. It is interesting how they will come into a swarm of Gulls or Ravens and although there is no fighting, everyone KNOWS who is in charge, that's for sure.


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