MUSH! We started the day with silver-lined clouds off in the distance filling in the mountains. They were highlighted by blue sky and sunshine. Yes! I like my clouds and mountains with blue sky and sunshine!
Leaving Soldonato we drove 100 miles to Seward – making plans along the way! Having linked up with Dave and Gail again and hearing they were going to be at Denali’s Riley Creek Campground on Monday – we adjusted our itinerary to arrive there a day early – a dinner date! We weren’t able to get into Riley Creek Campground, but we are right next door in a private campground.
Meanwhile – Seward! Looking in the Mileposts magazine about “things to do” in Seward I saw an ad for a dog sled ride. Not just any dog sled kennel, but the famous kennels of the 4-generation Seavey family – the world’s foremost mushing family. Mitch Seavey, and his son Dallas Seavey have won the last 5 Iditarod races in a row. The race itself was started by Dan Seavey, who came to Alaska in 1963 and saw that the sled-dog-way-of-life was dying out. We were able to walk in right off the street and get a spot on the next scheduled ride – in 20 minutes!
This is a large picture hanging in the office of Mitch Seavey and team with lead dogs Pilot and Crisp arriving in Nome, Alaska to claim his 3rd Iditarod Championship in a record time of 8 days, 3 hours, 40 minutes, 13 seconds, on March 14, 2017.
Our young guide named Meredith Mapes was 24 years old and has been mushing for 17 years – she discovered her love of the sport from Girl Scouts! Just this past year she has passed the trials and received her certification to race in the 2018 Iditarod! Helping out at the Seavey kennel is her summer job, and she is also a college student and has her own kennel and race sponsors! We know that we’ll be following the race close this year and rooting for her.
You can follow her too on her website at www.funontherunkennel.com
A bus took us back to the main kennels and dropped us off where we met up with Meredith. She put a beautiful dog, mask-faced huskie, up on a platform and proceeded to tell us that he was a movie star. However, he was NOT a real sled dog – too big and beefy – he shows how Hollywood portrays sled dogs. The “real” sled dogs, which were staked out in a large yard, were lean, leggy, running machines. Not nearly as pretty to look at – but much more suited to trail work.
After seeing the excitement of the dogs, and later seeing how friendly and well-trained they are -- I changed my opinion about their being chained outside to their dog shelters.. The way they are chained keeps them from tangling around their shelter, and no one dog can reach another dog. It looks a bit harsh to those of us that like our dogs living in our house and sitting on our sofa, but I can now say that these guys would have it no other way.
Meredith then took us around to a pen of 4-month-old puppies, and we got to hold and pass them around. Next we got to do the same with some newborn puppies whose eyes were not yet open. All of this handling is good socialization for the young pups and serves a real purpose for the kennel.
We were then taken into a showroom where Meredith taught us all about the sledding equipment. The sled she showed us was the one that won the Iditarod this past year, and was newly designed by Mitch. The sled had three built-in, sheltered, dog crates where dogs could rotate out and rest about every 20 miles. The sled also featured a middle seat for the musher, and from there she could stand on one runner and “paddle” with her other foot to help the dogs, or sit/stand in the center and use ski poles to assist. Very different than the type of sled we are used to thinking about.
One luckless dog got drafted to stand still while she demonstrated a total body check-up done on each dog (to check for soreness and range of motion in all body segments) several times a day. And she showed equipment the dog might wear for different situations -- shoulder/warmer, leg wrap, down jacket, doggie blanket, booties, etc. Poor guy – as Meredith put the fur-lined “jock-strap warmer” on his boy-parts; he looked especially mortified. Oh darn -- I didn't get a picture of the warmer. I also didn't get a picture of her putting the running booties on -- they are simple little socks that velcro tightly on, and they are changed every time she stops. If she is running 14 dogs . . . . YOU DO THE MATH! The good news is that the theater department at her college is donating their $ and time to sew gallons and gallons of doggie booties for her this season!
As the dogs from the last sled run came into the yard, all the dogs rose and started begging: “Me next!” “Take me!” “I want to go” “My turn.” The slightly-tired dogs were unhooked and fresh dogs were hitched up. The 800-pound cart they pull has three rows of seating, room for the musher on the back, and has padded, and air-cushioned seats! We then added in 9 people. Those dogs could not wait to get going, and it was obvious as they leaped and sprang into the harness that they loved their job! One of the last dogs (anchor dog) hitched up was Zuko – one of Meredith’s kennel dogs, and another was a dog from last year’s winning team. Of course these summer runs help the dogs keep in shape during the off-season.
The dogs were eager to run and pull, but Meredith stopped them every 5-10 minutes – not to rest, but to cool down. The optimum temperatures for the working dogs is between -10 to 10 degrees above! The trail was a wide gravel-coated path that swung through the woods, looped around and followed a rushing river, about a 30-minute trip. As we unloaded we were allowed to walk down the line and make friends with the 13 dogs in our team! Everyone’s favorite was Shakespeare, who tangled his traces every time we stopped, so Meredith would have to tell him “Shakespeare, line up!” He would then jump back over the center trace and turn the right way! Part-way through the run, Meredith stopped and got pictures for us -- don't worry, there were 11 more dogs in front of the two that are showing!
Well, I could talk forever about this experience – but you just really need to come to Seward and do it for yourself!
We drove into Seward, established in 1903, another coastal town with roots as a transportation hub connected to Alaska mining. The Iditarod trail was surveyed in 1910 as a mail trail between Seward and Nome, but by 1924 it was replaced by the airplane! We walked the streets (you really get the flavor of a town by the souvenir stores!) and ate fish and chips on an outside patio. . . if the temperature is in the 50’s or higher, they assume you want to eat outside!
We left Seward to drive back to Anchorage. The trip got a little complicated when there was some sort of altercation that left a boat sitting in the middle of the road -- burned up! It took us a good 2 hours to creep past that accident, and we couldn't figure out what had happened!
In Anchorage we bought groceries for the week that we will be in Denali. The reminder on our first Denalli-area campground tells us that the closest grocery is 130 miles away!
The Salmon Are Running! That means the campgrounds are full. . . and the rivers are full of fishermen! At this point we did not have reservations, and hoped that there would always be someplace/somewhere to spend the night. With a bit of adjustments to our plans, we managed reservations for tonight at Soldotna and tomorrow night in Seward.
The goal today was the Kenai Pennusula and the town of Homer. We left Anchorage on Seward Highway, duplicating our sight-seeing drive of yesterday. As we had hoped, today the flood plain was at high tide. (Take my word for it - the picture didn't turn out!) We swung around the Turnagain Arm and headed onto the Kenai Peninsula. After a total of 155 miles, we dropped the trailer at Soldotna, and drove the 70 miles on down to Homer. In Ohio signs acknowledge the number of people killed on the highways – on the Kenai they count the number of moose killed; 182 so far this year!
There is no documentation of RV/Motorhome mishaps, but we happened across what appeared to be one!
The coastal drive was not the typical rainforest we have seen; it was a mixture of young growth hardwood, more mature pine trees, and open meadows all on a flat and level road at an elevation of about 100’. It was sparsely developed, but did have electrical poles and cell phone access to the entire peninsula. And, there were great views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
At the “end of the road” is the Homer Spit – a 4.5-mile strip of sand and gravel that juts out into Cook Inlet where the harsh weather wears away at it. It takes a lot of work and rock walls to keep the whole spit intact. On the spit there is a line-up of restaurants, charter tours, bars, art studios, piers and boat docking, and campgrounds. We drove the spit and got out and walked some of the it, and viewed the mountains across the Cook Inlet. Then we ventured up on the East Hill Road, a high bluff overlooking the harbor, – mostly residential and B&B’s – to try for a view of the spit from up high. The pictures I took were through the car window, as there were no overlook/pulloffs.
On the return trip we spotted our first moose fairly close to the road . . . grazing away. It appeared to be a yearling and on it’s own, and a little shy. Several miles later we saw another, larger, moose, but I was on the phone and didn’t get a picture!
The first hint that Anchorage would indeed be a well-equipped metropolis was that the road leading in the last 150 miles was new, no potholes, and no permafrost buckling . . . smooth! As we entered the city itself, we saw stuff we hadn’t seen in awhile: malls, city service trash cans lined up in a neighborhood, new subdivision housing, big-chain stores, traffic jams, a roundabout . . . high rise buildings!
We settled into the Golden Nuggett RV Park (don’t be fooled by the name – it was OK – but not five-star) and Tom went to the a Quick Lube to have the oil changed while I did trailer duties and worked on the blog. Then we ventured into the downtown area which is off the Cook Inlet and along the Knik Arm. There was some good Alaska-stuff shopping, and Tom and I found some Moose Creek/Anchorage t-shirts we liked for 50% off -- $10. When we got hungry, we enjoyed a Mexican restaurant and then headed back to the Golden Nuggett. The Anchorage adventure will continue tomorrow!
I always wonder who I need to “thank” for the day-trips when we stay in one location a couple days. Tom heads out around the trailer park, and comes back with a whole head-full of ideas of things to see and do . . . all from talking to people! Today was our only full day in Anchorage, and Tom had a plan! It involved hiking boots! (The new hiking boots that I bought for this trip are walking wonderfully.)
First off was the Kincaid Park – an Anchorage Municipal Park where the Turnagain Arm meets the Cook Inlet. It was the home of the World Cup Cross-Country ski races, had soccer fields, hiking, and biking trails. We stuck to the walking/biking trail – it was nice walking, but didn’t have much in the way of views. One of the buildings had a fire-escape-type stair-step to a lookout on top of the roof. There was a good view there, and on some days (not today) you can even see Mt. McKinley in the distance.
Our afternoon drive (after a lunch stop at McDonald’s) was to jump on the Seward Highway and follow the coastal drive of about 20 miles along the coast. We would be doing that again with the trailer tomorrow, but we wanted to freedom to stop and get out and walk some of the trails. The road follow the Turnagain Arm Trail on one side, and the railroad and the Turnagain Arm (coast) on the other side. Many of the stops allude to beluga whales (which are one of my favorites) but we didn’t see any.
The Turnagain Arm is a slender narrow body of water just off the Cook Inlet, which is part of the Pacific Ocean. It is affected by the tides, and we were apparently cruising past at low tide and could see what looked like a flood plain made up of glacier silt – which is very different than sand. The whole wet plain was a muddy grey color. One sign at a pull-off said that you can occasionally see a tidal bore come in – much like what we saw at the Bay of Fundy years ago. We are anxious to see what the tide is tomorrow morning as we drive past.
Another quick trip downtown yielded a mural of the beluga whales that is on the side of the JC Penney building, a new hoodie shirt for me from the North Face store, and a picture of something that Anchorage is known for in the summer – flower gardens! Then back to the Silvermine for a dinner of Halibut cooked by Tom on the cast-iron skillet, and some wind-down-time to plan tomorrow’s trip out of Anchorage.
July 5, Wednesday
The Lu-Lu Belle is captained by Fred Rodolf, who has been cruising Prince William Sound since 1979. All we had to do to board her for our glacier/wildlife cruise, was walk across the street from our camping parking lot and walk down a gangplank. The Lu-Lu Bell has a plush atmosphere of teak, mahogany and oriental rugs and seating inside and outside. The crew (two college girls on summer jobs) worked in the galley preparing fresh baked goods and tending to the needs of the passengers. Captain Fred is a friendly and talkative pilot who shares his 28 years of knowledge of the water-area in a non-stop narration for the entire 10-hour voyage!
As we boarded, we headed straight to the top where a very small viewing deck with seating for 5 people was perched at the front of the boat. We had to climb a narrow ladder to get there; the clear windshield/screen was welcome considering the temperatures. Other options would have been open/standing room at the prow, outdoor seating/standing on the aft deck, an inside heated lounge, a dining area with 6 seating booths, or inside the pilot house with Captain Fred. The boat also had a prow point sticking out from the front – big enough for 2 people to stand. I think there were about 50 people on board the Lu-Lu Belle for the tour, and maybe 35 inside seats that were completely sheltered and heated. But, there were plenty of people like us that wanted to be outside for the full experience. We felt we had the best view! Here is the route we followed!
Captain Fred had a lot to say as we got underway, and he said it in an easy, down-homey, chatty sort of way. He also did not appear to be in any hurry. When he saw a “raft” of otters floating gently on their backs, he pulled over, circled around, and gave us a long time to observe. . . same with the sea lions, puffins, seals, humpback whale, porpoises . . . . and the great Columbia glacier itself. He really was a master tour guide.
Leaving the harbor he pointed out the Northwestern, frequently on The Deadliest Catch. They usually harvest deep-sea crab out in the Bering Sea, but as that was not in season, they were assisting other big-net operations in offloading their large catches and transporting it back to shore. Here is a picture of the Northwestern, and two other ships in the process of offloading.
At one point I looked at the clock to see we had been out for 3 hours --- I had thought 30 minutes! As we left the sea lion rookery, we could see the beginnings of float ice ahead, and then an ice wall far in the distance. Captain Fred put it in constant perspective for us: “We are 9 miles out from the Glacier” -- “When we get close to the Glacier you will not be able to see the mountains towering above/behind it” – “When I first began doing tours in 1979, the Glacier reached out to here . . . “ As soon as we would try to process one bit of information he would come up with another: “Right here our depth is 40’ and where the Glacier used to be . . . just ahead it is 1,100 feet. ” – “That big, bare-rock mountain used to be covered by the Glacier.” He really knew the area, and knew how to convey it’s facet of constant change.
This picture shows the wall of the glacier at 9 miles out. The mountains in the distance are the ones that Captain Fred said would disappear when we are close to the ice wall. The rock face to the right was under the glacier just a few years ago.
At this point, still 5 miles away, the ice became very concentrated, and Captain Fred had to slow down, quit talking, and pay special attention as he picked his way through the floating ice field. "Remember, you can only see ten percent of the ice sticking out of the water," said Captain Fred.
In the next picture it appears that we are really close . . . but remember that little thing he told us about the mountains disappearing behind the ice face? As we got closer, however, the mountains did began to fade, and the ice opened up a little bit.
Finally we were 1/4 mile from the glacier -- no more mountains! Just a solid wall of ice 300' high. Another 676' of ice was under the waterline!.
There was not a lot of heavy calving, but we did see some small ice plunging off. What was the most interesting, was when Captain Fred pointed out a vast, onyx –black raft of ice that . . . . popped up from the underwater bed of the bay! Yes – the ice can collapse off the face of the glacier, or break loose from underneath and float to the surface. We bobbed around for over an hour waiting for something to give way!
We reluctantly turned to leave the face of the Columbia . . . to find that the ice pack had changed significantly and had packed together even tighter. Captain Fred told us it would take awhile, and we would have to follow a whole new path, so we settled down for the 2 hour ride back to our port.
We had left the harbor at 11:00 at a nice 50 degrees and we had been warned to dress in warm layers. At the Glacier it was in the mid 30, but felt much colder, and we appreciated the many layers topped off with our green, down, jackets. Tom was on that top perch for the entire nine hours – as we headed back to port, I went down to thaw out for an hour, and then returned up top to finish the cruise.
It was a deep, bone-penetrating cold, in spite of all those layers, and when we got to the Silvermine Tom headed directly to the shower house for a long, hot, thaw under the hot water spray. I opted for wool socks, fleece pants, a hoodie, jacking the thermostat up to 70 degrees and crawling under my covers for the night.
Tuesday, July 4
I knew that Tom woke up at 5:00 this morning, and I was glad that when he left the trailer he stayed gone another hour. Even then, 6:00 was appallingly early to have to get up when he returned – until I looked out and saw sunshine. This prompted an early morning walk down to the harbor.
Turning away from the harbor we ventured off in the truck – Tom had seen a name on the map that got his imagination going – Mineral Creek Canyon. We couldn’t find anything written in Mileposts, so I respectfully submit my own narration.
On the North edge of town, past a residential neighborhood of well-to-do-homes, a dirt/gravel, potholed, road plows north into the wilderness. The visual lure is the mixed-green (emerald, lime, olive, jade, bottle) mountains and the fact that you are heading directly into . . . nothing. Tom, who has never been called on to use the 4-wheel-drive feature on his truck, shifted enthusiastically. For the next hour (7 miles) we bounced along the road, enjoying the views of the mountains and the water that was falling (and in some places leaping) down the mountain-sides. At one point where an old bridge was washed out, the road resorted to the stream-bed.
Back on the main road, and it still wasn’t 9:00, we headed back to the harbor area to climb the Outlook Trail – wanting to be sure to see it while there was sunshine! We had a good view of not only the harbor and the mountains, but the business and residential neighborhoods.
We dropped back by the Silvermine and packed a lunch, and headed for another trail at the end of the Harbor parking lot. The Dock Point Trail was rated as easy – but the first 1/8 mile was a killer! They must have not thought it was necessary to put in the customary log-cut stair-steps and the climb was very steep. But once up that hill, the trail was nice with boardwalks leading to two overlook viewing platforms. We stopped at the second overlook and got out our lunch and enjoyed the view.
Our next jaunt was by truck – back out the Richardson Highway (that brought us into Valdez) to the Dayville Road -- a 5-mile road that loops around to the other side of the Valdez harbor. It stops abruptly with heavily restricted access at the point that the pipline ends and the oil is loaded onto the tanker ships. From that point we could see Valdez across the harbor, and had a view of the Valdez Glacier.
The Bear Paw RV Park is a rarity in that it allows you to wash your vehicles right at your campsite! Tom bit on that and gave the Airstream a good wash. Meanwhile, Charlie Button was a mess from all of the hiking, and I dropped her in the sink for a good wash. After feeling successful with those chores, we walked the 5 blocks from our campsite to the location of the 4th of July festival. There were a few food tents and a few booths that had hand-made items (and some garage-sale items) for sale. One lady had an outstanding truck, and her specialty was making large satchel-type bags from carpets! It was a real small-town USA celebration!
Earlier in the day, Tom commented that today was our only full day in Valdez; I think we did it justice. The only things left on the menu for the evening is . . . shrimp! We have found that we much prefer buying our seafood and cooking it ourselves than eating in a restaurant. Tomorrow is a special treat – an 8-hour glacier/wildlife cruise on Valdez’s most luxurious yacht the Lu-Lu Belle!
Monday, July 3,
Coffee . . . and a Twinkie! That’s what Tom is having for breakfast this morning! I thought it sounded like a title to . . . . something . . . . my blog?
This morning we continued along the Tok Cutoff, also called the Glenn Highway, and turned south onto Route 4, the Richardson Highway, for the 150 mile drive to Valdez. In terms of what we have traveled, 150 miles does not seem like much – but the road was rough and required slow (25mph) driving in some places, and there were beautiful pull-overs for pictures.
Our drive took us alongside the western edge of Wrangell-St Elias National Park (created in 1980), and we stopped at the Copper River Visitor Center. It is the biggest National Park – 4X bigger than Yellowstone! Only two roads venture into the interior of the park – it is not the kind of park that you drive through! The 60-mile McCarthy Road and the 42-mile Nabesna Road provide access to hiking trails and very few people venture onto them. We did stop at a new Visitor Center and watched a movie about the park – it was so full of statistics that it was hard to comprehend the ruggedness and remoteness of the park. Four major mountain ranges meet in the park which include nine of the 16 highest peaks in the United States! As for “what to do” in the park – the suggestions were: Hike deep into the mountains, float the rivers, ski the glaciers, or fly over the landscape. We settled for the stop at the Visitor Center and the drive along the perimeter!
Leaving the National Park we caught a peek of The Pipeline. It had paralleled our road all morning, but this is one of the few glimpses we had of it on the drive.
Another stop-and-get-out site was for the Worthington Glacier, a comparatively young and small glacier that was placed conveniently beside the road. There was a 1/4 mile trail heading back to a viewing platform where we could see that some people leave the trail and scramble up on the lower rubble of the glacier field.
Within 50 miles of Valdez, we had to make it through Thompson Pass. As we got closer, it was obvious that we would be going up and over the top. That would have been just fine, except we saw clouds filling in the lower mountain elevations. Soon, we were in deep fog, and that was a bit alarming . . . for about 5 miles. Then we broke through, and it was clear to Valdez!
They put the welcome sign 22 miles outside of Valdez. That last 22 miles was a striking, emerald green drive, accented by falling water.
We entered Valdez at about 2:00, and reported to our Bear Paw RV Park, which was directly across from the small boat harbor. It is just a gravel parking lot, has full hook-ups, and is right in the middle of downtown action. By coincidence or accident, or with deliberate thought, we were placed right next to another 2016 (27' International) Airstream.
We are all settled in for the next 3 nights in Valdez. I'll leave you with this parting picture that might represent what you remember most about Valdez!
July 2, Sunday
There was a time change yesterday as we entered Canada, but we didn’t bother with changing our clocks as we would be crossing back into Alaska today! We were off at either 6:30 – or 7:30 – take your choice!
We are officially on the Alaskan Highway today, and following the mile-by-mile write-up in the 2016 Milepost. This Alaska Highway Log tells every precise detail of the condition of the road, the mile marker locations, the turnouts, the junctions, the rivers, lakes, towns, etc. I read it all to Tom and highlight and make notations of times as we drive by. We always knew exactly what was coming around the bend!
The highway is nice asphalt, but the melting of the permafrost erodes and buckles the road calling for continuous road-work. At times, where they are grading and working, there is a short stretch of gravel road – but not long stretches. The best way to drive the road is with another rig in front of you so you can keep your eyes on it’s bumper to see how much porposing there is, and slow down accordingly. There are places where Tom slows down to 25 mph, and places where he spurts up to 60 mph. There was just one section of about 25 miles that was a continuously washboard!
It rained most of the day, but the mountains were clearly visible and the clouds were high. The temperature hovered around 53. We played leap-frog all day with two other Airstreams, but they both stopped off for the evening in Tok while we drove another hour to Gulkana -- which leaves a short drive to Valdez tomorrow.
Tonight we stopped at the Gakoa RV Park. It is very modest, full hook-ups, and nothing beautiful – but grassy and a pull-thru site. We did not bother to unhook! Supper was again cooked in the Silvermine (porkchops and cornbread and a fresh plum) and there was wifi for me to work on my blog – along with a glass of wine!
July 1, Saturday
We were out of the shoot at 7:30 this morning, heading northwest up the Haines Highway, ready to cross the border into Canada, and drive 200 miles to Haines Junction. We must have answered all the questions correctly at the border (we said “yes” to the beer, wine and bear spray) as we got through with no search. The two RV’s in front of us, however, were pulled over and searched while the occupants sat inside the border station.
Following the map along the Chilkat River is very easy – there are no other roads! The landscape began low, shrubby . . . tundra? It is much like a mountain meadow with squishy, mossy, bright green flora and wildflowers. It could be an Alpine meadow? As we drove toward the mountains the meadows receded and the trees moved in – a mixture of young, thin Aspen, and tall, skinny pines and spruce. We were locked in deep haze and fog for the first hour, but as we left the low clouds the drive became clear – not sunny . . . not bright – but clear!
We took a turnoff to Million Dollar Falls, right out in the middle of nowhere, and discovered a beautiful, primitive campground and a trailhead. The trail was a beautiful boardwalk and stair steps following the river . . . . down, down, down, to a point where the river narrowed through a rocky gorge and plunged down to follow a lower level. Right out in the middle of nowhere!
We passed through Haines Junction; the towns are getting smaller and further between. At the Visitor Center the lady assured us that Haines Junction was full of bears – just a few minutes ago a grizzly had been chasing a moose right down the main road! Our destination was Destruction Bay, another 50 miles down the highway, and we headed out -- alert for bear, or moose.
We had first intended to spend the night at Haines Junction, but we received hints to be sure to go on to Cottonwood RV at DestructionBay. We drove for miles alongside a lake, and out in the middle of nowhere – was this beautiful campground. All of the sites were taken – unless we were willing to “dry camp” with no hookups! We were. She led us to a drive-thru spot that bordered right on the lake – mountains in front, and mountains behind. Oh, it was beautiful!
Temperatures were definitely cooler here than on the coast, and we did not have electric hookups. We did not bother with the generator, and instead got out the king-size, wool, Pendleton blanket (Yellowstone edition, just to name drop). A dinner of beef brisket and roasted potatoes cooked in the oven did a nice job of heating the trailer up in the early evening. I have a sheet-liner/sleeping bag and was fine down in that with just one quilt over me and a hoodie . Tom was inside a fleece sleeping bag liner with a quilt on top of that – and that Pendleton blanket FOLDED on top! He said it was so heavy, he only managed to turn over once – but he was crazy toasty all night! The trailer was 52 degrees when we woke up this morning!
June 30, Friday
Yesterday we did the Chilkoot area and today we headed for the Chilkat region -- after an egg/sausage breakfast! This drive went out the Mud Bay Road, ending up at the Chilkat Peninsula and the Chilkat State Park. The campground was deeply wooded, large sites, vault restrooms, no hook-ups . . . and almost empty. It was just the type of camping that we usually prefer – but it was so very isolated!
We checked out the 7-mile Seduction Point trail that led 2 miles to Moose Meadows, but the trail was steeply up and down, wet and slick, and it disappeared into a mysterious, murky woods! This was a different type of rain forest than we had been in before, and it was evident that no sun penetrated to the forest floor, and the trail probably never dried out. The ground underfoot was squishy, spongy earth, and as Tom walked ahead of me I could see his each step sink in ½”. It was so dark it was almost disturbing! We followed the path for a while and then turned around at a steep downward incline . . . it seemed a little dangerous of footing for the two of us!
I spent some time in the downtown library working on my blog, and Tom and Charlie walked almost every street in Haines! I ended up at The Hair Shack, and walked in and was able to get my bangs trimmed. We ate lunch back at the Silvermine and because we were right next to the laundry I washed all the bedding . . . Tom washed the truck. In the afternoon we did another drive-through of downtown Haines (about 4 blocks), stopping at a few places, restocking groceries at the IGA, and checking out the menu at the downtown local fish/chips eatery. For the price of $25 for one dinner (and we had been warned it was a lot of food!) We figured we would share one carry-out dinner tonight and put a few sides together with it and eat in the Silvermine.
There were a few things yet to do to prepare the truck and van for cross-country towing, and we used the late afternoon for that purpose; we will be crossing into Canada in the first 40 miles.
Me: “Tom, do you want to turn on the TV and get caught up on the news this evening?” Tom: “NO!” Alaska Frontier . . . here we come!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown