Friday, July 30, 2010

Movie of the best trail bridge ever

Except for maybe a catapult, this is the coolest design ever for crossing streams. At the Canoe Cove Cabin in Bridgett State Park out of Juneau.

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More Haines happiness

Here is the lovely house of Marnie and Greg. They are doing a great job of landscaping, and it is a joy to sit amongst flowers and gardens. Note the hard-working Marnie in the photo.

Also note the screw off Blain on their moped instead of helping. What a great little gitaround.
The weather isn't always like Colorado, they tell us. They get some snow in winter. This snow stake on Mt Rapinski tells all. Note the second photo of the top marker...
All that snowmelt does good things for the groundwater, and the mushrooms have been coming out en mass. This handsome birch bolete caught our eye.
Mt Rapinski was a major achievement for Blain. Broken leg kept the distance down on past hikes, but it held up great for this 3600 ft peak. I know our Colorado buddies will give us a hard time for the altitude, but keep in mind that we started from 5 ft. below sealevel.

And Mo was proud of him.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Haines is for hikers

Up the Lynn Canal to Haines to the Southeast Alaska State Fair. And to do some hiking with our friends Greg and Marnie. Last time we saw them was April 2009, when we started this crazy thing and drove to Haines to see them and go skiing.

The town looks a lot different without the snow, and the weather has been unbelievable. Shorts weather. Yesss! A real Chamber of Commerce day.

And Blain can hike. The leg is truly getting stronger, and we both enjoyed the climbs of Riley Peak and Mt Rapinski from town.

With 360 deg views of the most spectacular place we have ever seen, who could complain about sore knees.



This group of Canadian hikers kept the dog occupied for a while with the opening of packs and crinkling of granola bar wrappers.
We were happy to see so many western toads along the wet spots in the trail, and at one meadow counted eight little subadults. It looks to be a good toad year.


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We ran into a trail crew working in southern Lynn Canal in Bridget Point State Park. All of them, brand new to the state, and working for a group called Overland. Here's the groups site. But they were working with Trail Mix and the State Parks to repair some wet and sloggy tread. Instead of just hanging around this summer, these kids came up to Alaska to work. What a concept. And have some fun too, I'm sure.

Chance again checked packs for possible nibbles, but nothing there for them. It was fun looking through their eyes at how wide-eyed we were when we just arrived. We had to encourage them to try the blueberries. They were'nt sure if they could. Cute kids.

Juneau the first round

Chance has become quite a whale watcher and now sees more of them than we do. I think he thinks they are all dolphins, and he just goes apey when he hears them these days.

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We've had a nice stretch of sailing lately in the big straits. This lighthouse came into view at Point Retreat. We were glad we didn't have to retreat, and were able to tack around to get to Auke Bay for the evening. We are having our heater overhauled before we go into the glacier areas. Figured it was a good idea.
At Couverdan Harbor we were glad to see kin. These noisey little critters kept us entertained and at one time they joined three others in a fly-by scream session.
No real photos of Juneau, we're saving that for when Mom is up.

Gnaughty Gnomes in Elfin Cove and Pelicans of Wood

Back inside and enjoying the little towns of Pelican and Elfin Cove. Both are built on stilts at the water's edge with steep forest surrounding, and offer the picturesque Southeast Alaska experience.


We're sure the bumper sticker has to do with annexation or something, but we're not sure.
This sweet little troller looked older than Jesus, and probably would need a miracle to be seaworthy again, but sometimes they are alot better off than they look.

The town library had this neat bookshelf of wooden books outside carved by a local talent.

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Elfin Cove is another boardwalk town near Glacier Bay, and it is particularly quirky. Though very communal with a strong community council and even a town woodworking shop shared by all citizens. We'd love to know more about this interesting place.

I think these fine statuettes show some light on their sentiment towards tourists and other outsiders, though.
The wheelchair accesibility to some of the upper inns and lodges is slightly suspect.

They had a disastrous fire last month and are still waiting insurance companies to rebuild the only cafe/resturant in town.
We were also sad to see these kayaks that had melted. A sorry fate for any vessel.
The harbor facilities are also likely not up to code...


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On to an anchorge in Glacier Bay at Taylor Bay and strawberry wonderland.

We explored the former terminal moraine and found it chockablock full of wild strawberries. And bears. We had to scare off one bruin to get at his berry patch in the morning, but the risk was worth it. We'd never seen strawberries like this. Such a bounty.
We picked just a pint or so, and let the bears have the rest. Strawberries, salmon berries, and nagoon berries.

Cool yellow and orange mushrooms, too.

Speaking of subsistance, the drought of salmon is officially over for Oystercatcher. Blain reeled in a nice pink, but Mo convinced him to let it go, and the next fish was a gorgeous huge coho. Enough for a week of grilled dinners and even a few breakfasts.

We were also the lucky recipients of four Dungeness crabs. Almost too much for two people. Almost. We had crab pizza. Woah.
And now that we are true fish slayers again, Mo is working up a design for her next tattoo. What do you think?