Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Haines Junction to Haines and Meeting a Blogger Friend

We crossed back into the U.S. after passing through part of Yukon Territory and British Columbia. We’re very happy that all of our border crossings have been quick and without problems. We still have a few more, so we hope they go as well.



You wouldn’t think it would take 4 hours to drive 140 miles. But if some of it is gravel, and some is under construction, and some includes frost heaves in the form of huge dips not always marked by orange flags, and the speed limit varies from 25 to 55 most of the way, it can easily take that long. The scenery along the way was spectacular, so it helped make our drive more pleasant.





We got an early start, about 6:30 am Alaska time (7:30 in Yukon), so we arrived in Haines about 10:30. The Elks Lodge has 7 full hookup RV sites with cable TV for $20 per night.


Dennis and Carol were already here when we arrived, and they weren’t able to get their satellite dish connected because of tall trees to the south. Don and Dennis got out their compasses and tried to find an opening in the trees before we chose our site. Don thought North was over to his left.


They swapped compasses and still couldn’t figure it out.


Finally, we decided to take the site next to them and see what happened. We got lucky and our dish connected to the satellite!

After we got setup, Don and I drove into town to look around. I’ve been trading comments with another blogger, Karen of Karen & Fran’s Alaska and Yukon Adventures. We knew we’d both be in Haines today and tomorrow, so we went to their RV park and found them at home. What a delightful couple! We had a nice chat and made plans to get together again tomorrow.


Later, the other 3 rigs of our “Last Frontier Gang” arrived. We were surprised to see Mary and Gary Olson, because we thought they were heading west from Haines Junction. The Olsons are boondocking tonight (far right) and will move into the site next to them, to be vacated tomorrow.


We’ve talked a lot in this blog about all the good food we’ve had in Alaska. Tonight we had one of the worst meals, maybe THE worst meal, in the state. We went to the Lighthouse Restaurant. My dinner was fish tacos. They ran out of red snapper so were substituting salmon. Okay, I like salmon. I had some delicious salmon tacos in Seldovia, and could hardly finish them because they were stuffed with a big portion of salmon and all kinds of other goodies. What I got tonight was two 10” flour tortillas with about 1-1/2 tablespoons of salmon, 1/2 teaspoon of mayonnaise (mayonnaise in tacos?) and 1/4 cup of coarsely sliced raw red cabbage in each one, with 1/8 cup of salsa for both. No onions, no tomatoes, no olives, no cheese, no sour cream, not even a leaf of lettuce or garnish on the side.

Don ordered fried chicken. He got 3 pieces – breast, leg, thigh – that were so small, they looked like they came from a pigeon, and the french fries were soggy. We were both hungry after eating our meals. The waitress was the only one handling the entire restaurant, and our party of 10 pushed her even more, so we didn’t complain too much. But we came home and found some snacks to fill us up.

Others of our group were also unhappy. Marilyn’s experience with the fish tacos was the same as mine, and Dennis had a burned burger. The Lighthouse Restaurant came highly recommended, so maybe we’ll give them a second chance.

Later this evening, we drove about 11 miles to the Chilkoot Lake State Park and found a Grizzly sow and 2 cubs foraging for food along the river. It was hard to choose which pictures to publish, so here are just a few.






And, just in case anyone thinks we were too close for comfort, there was a ranger nearby wearing a gun. He’s behind the raindrop that appeared on this photo.



  1. Great photos... one of our favorite things was the wildlife we saw on out trip through Canada & Alaska.
    Have fun & Travel safe

  2. Great Grizzly photos! Hope you were close enough to run back to your vehicles in case that Grizzly came at you.

  3. Great photos, Sharon! Enjoy your stay in Haines.

  4. Ditto, great photos! We had a calamari snack at the Lighthouse (our RV park was next door) on our first night, and it was the best calamari we ever had. Also, the dock next to the restaurant is where crab fishermen come in -- we got huge $5 dungeoness crabs there. Yummy!

  5. I loved your grizzley shots (by camera vs. gun). Seeing them in THEIR environment has been the best part of our trip to Alaska. Getting to meet other bloggers or followers has also been fun. Had an email from "Elsie" last night and she is following your gangs' blogs, too. She also listed Karen's so I'll go check that one out.

  6. We've been enjoying reading your Alaska Blogs. The photos of mountain scenery and wildlife have been especially interesting. What a thrill to be able to watch grizzlies in their natural habitat! J&C

  7. Loved the photos of the grizzlies. Maybe you should have saved your salmon tacos for them, NOT!!

  8. What great pics of the bear, Sharon. Can't wait to go tonight! Too bad about the Lighthouse meal. I'd checked on-line reviews and liked what I read about the Fireweed Restaurant up in Fort Seward. We went last night and it was very good - but go early or make a reservation as it gets very busy. See you later!

  9. Wonderful bear photos, Sharon. We are really looking forward to Haines as it appears to be a little off the beaten path. Probably end of next week so we probably won't catch you guys. And we also know where not to eat.

  10. Amazing grizzley pictures - I'm just speechless!

  11. Wonderful grizzley pictures....not many people can say they have seen these beautiful creatures in the wild.
    Did one of the bears have a tracking device on?Too bad dinner was the pits. Hopefully all the
    wild life pictures made up for it.
    Ron and Linda

  12. There's nothing quite like seeing bears in the wild, going about their business. We spent a week last August with the bears of Katmai, and I could have spent weeks more.


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