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Haines Alaska


Haines Alaska

Finally!  I’ve made it to Haines.   Being here was a big goal, as I know from this point, the threat of a big early snow (which I have been warned plenty about)  is not likely and even if it did, it’s where the port is to catch the inside passage ferry which means it can snow all it wants now!  I didn’t get snow, but I kind of wanted it to so I can do the “nanny nanny boo boo” dance.. ;-))  Instead it gave me lots of very cold rain and mother nature did the dance for me instead.. ha!

Coming into Haines late in the afternoon means I run straight to the visitors center.  Canada and Alaska are great for having these centers in all the important stops, full of easy great info on accommodation.  It’s been raining too much that I could use a break from camping, so I go in search of a cheap hotel.  Cheap is not possible in this town!   After making several calls, I talk to a man who owns one of those white houses up the hill.  He is also in his last week of work before shutting it down for the winter, so he gives me a super great deal on a little room in that big house.. I must admit I didn’t get much sleep, it is old.. like super old with many rooms, attics and basement and I was the only one in the house all night.  I jumped at every little sound!

These houses were built between 1902-04 for the officers of Fort William H. Seward. The name of the first Army fort built in Alaska honors the man who had negotiated the purchase of Alaska from the Russians.  A huge amount of history here, and staying in a tiny room in such a large house just gets my mind to wandering a bit too much.

Wolf skins for sale!! ??????????????

 Whale skin boots with fur seal.. ;-(((

Seal and beaver slippers.. ;-(((((

Haines is well known for bears bears bears !!  As well as salmon and the American Bald Eagle Foundation..!  I saw one post stating the Haines is the adventure capital of Alaska..I can believe it!  Plenty to do here! I went to the American Bald Eagle Foundation and met the founder/director.  What a great guy with so many questions for me about riding a motorcycle.  His passion for the bald eagle and the foundation’s museum are very clear.  A man in a wheelchair who humbly didn’t tell me who he was, his staff did.  A few years ago, the building we are in caved in while under construction leaving him paralyzed. Not stopping him, if I can recommend any place to stop and see, it’s this one.  The displays and animals are so well done, and will certainly clearly teach about every animal in this area as well as a very good looking rescued bald eagle you can meet. Here’s a link to his page:  Why no pictures from me?  I ran out of the house I was staying so close by, excited for the eagle feeding, forgot the dag gone thing, and didn’t have time to go back and get it.

So the owner of the house I’m staying is very keen to find out if I’d like to see some grizzly bears… sure!  Just need to ride the bike about 5 km down the road to Chilkat River, and I’m likely to see them feeding on the salmon.. I’m there!

Chilkat River
Bears spotted in no time…!

A reminder of the land I am on.. part of the river bank is not to be walked on as a Native allotment.

And this is their peace totem.

Ok, back to the bears I keep spotting more… WOW!!!
Look out Mr. Salmon!!

Oops, missed that one..

His buddy got a nice red salmon.. maybe needs to teach his/her friend how to catch one too! 😉

Too cute!  and amazing there is no fence around, the bears couldn’t give a crap about the humans standing so close for photos… it’s all about the salmon here!

I didn’t notice until I was on the bridge with the bike leaving, these 3 heads coming up stream.. dag gone seals!!  How cool!  I didn’t expect to see them here, but makes sense.  They also are up for salmon dinner tonight.

Not only the seals, but the crows and seabirds are feasting away as well.  This is the land of ABUNDANCE!

My time in Haines comes to an end far too early, as usual. Really, this is the official end to my time in the far north of the Americas on my bike.  Kind of sad!  However, I’m excited to get on this ferry as well. The rain is bucketing, and not having to ride through it all day long is a bonus.  I’ll be well tucked away under the roof today.

Waiting for the ferry in Haines, Alaska.

The ferry arrives and I meet this guy who works on board right away, Hal.  He’s so enthusiastic to see a lone female biker and straight away offers a house to stay with him and his wife in Juneau (my next stop on the ferry, where we have an overnight and change boats).  One thing I can sum up about the people of Alaska, and my final example, they are super kind and helpful – always!  Can’t say enough about my experience in this part of the world.. can’t wait to come back and do it again!

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Originally from America. Proud citizen of Australia. Currently riding my motorcycle around the world. 44 countries so far and counting. ;-)


  • January 22, 2012

    Awesome Bear pics Sherri Jo! I agree with the sentiments about making clothing and boots out of fur – Aweful. Just like here in Africa where Eastern countries are causing poaching of Rhino horn for its so called benefits. Enjoy your riding – looks incredible!Charles

  • January 23, 2012

    I would have to disgree with Charle's statement that the fur clothing and boots in Alaska are just like the poaching of the rhino horns in Africa. Only natives can hunt fur seal (not to mention whale & walrus) and they use every bit of the animal. Their take is limited to subsistence hunting ( the products they make out of the fur and ivory are, in many cases, their only source of income. I think it's rather sad that we decry their way of living when our culture of greed produces so many more negative consequences.

  • January 23, 2012

    Fantastic views, wonderful experience…..I am sure. General question when riding to Alaska. Do you taking camping gear or are there enough places available. I am planning to ride to Prudhoe Bay 🙂

  • January 31, 2012

    Sherri…..what has happened to you…..we arm chair explorers are starved for adventure. You must be in South America by now but we are stuck in Alaska…..more pleaseBob

  • Sil
    February 6, 2012

    awesome!!The philosophy of running alone is incredible because this way and in fact we are never alone because we are traveling with the whole world as a company.Congratulations since Brazil and thank you for your visit in my space!

  • February 6, 2012

    Sorry Sandy/Bob! Been on the move, traveling, and not sitting still to work on the computer as often as I'd like. Another post ready and will do my best to catch up.. cheers!

  • Bob
    February 8, 2012

    Sherri…..thanks….great pics especially the one with the old dock and cribbing.


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