Carson's Alaska Newsletter #10
|Location: Destruction Bay, Yukon||Date: June 13-17,2003|
On the Road with Fred and Barb - Newsletter #10
June 13-17,2003 Skagway, Alaska to Destruction Bay, Yukon
June 13-15 HAINES, ALASKA
The ferry ride from Skagway to Haines was uneventful, except for a 4 hour delay in departure. But with a motorhome that really isn't a problem. We "camped out" in the parking lot for the day and used it as our base for some last minute shopping. Then played Mexican train, baked our salmon in the oven and had a feast. As Robbie said, we should have set up the bbq and held a salmon bake in the parking lot. Could have made up the cost of the fishing charter and then some. The ferry finally departed at 8:30pm and we were in the campground about 10. It's still daylight till after 11 so that was no problem. The campground owners and hosts were well prepared for the RV's coming off the ferry. We had called that morning for reservations so when we got there they just waved us to our spot. The Hitch-Up is certainly the nicest, cleanest and well cared for campground we've stayed in this trip (and the most expensive!). All the spaces are on grass. The laundry and restrooms were spotless. And our site had a nice view of the snow covered mountains.
Haines is very different from Skagway. Not touristy at all. A few very nice shops carrying fine Alaskan carvings and artwork. When we were on the Fjord Express to Juneau, they served wonderful blueberry muffins and we found out they get them from a little bakery in Haines. So naturally we had to go there. Besides the blueberry muffins, they also had some scrumptious raspberry and cream muffins, all kinds of home made donuts and the best three berry pie. (The Chilkat Bakery for those of you going to Haines).
In order to make up for all the calories, we took a nice 2 mile hike through the woods to the beach. It was a very pretty walk but a bit more strenuous than expected. So we treated ourselves to a steak dinner at the Elks Club that night to get our energy back! On Father's Day they had a brunch complete with pancakes, eggs, biscuits and gravy and eggs benedict. Really delicious but the best part was that all men got in free. Ladies paid $8. The people at the Elks were so friendly. Since they know everyone in town, they knew we were tourists and wanted to know all about our trip. We in turn enjoyed talking to the locals, especially William and Anna Belle who were in their 80's and live in Haines all year. They had some great stories to tell.
Decided to spend an extra day in Haines just to catch up on things like laundry, newsletters, etc. Barb finally got to work on her photo scrapbook and Fred cleaned up and backed up the hundreds of photos on the computer. We played some Jokers, had a nice dinner and enjoyed a very relaxing day.
June 16, 2003 KATHLEEN LAKE, YUKON
Today we drove north on the Haines Highway to Kathleen Lake in Kluane National Park, BC. It was a very pretty drive along several glacier fed rivers and up over the summit of Chilkat Pass. It wasn't as spectacular scenery as the drive to Skagway but the weather wasn't quite as nice either. Low clouds hung over the mountains so it wasn't good for photography. We did see two magnificent bald eagles along the road near the Chilkat Bald Eagle Sanctuary. They posed for us at the top of a dead tree branch.
Once over the pass, the sun came out and there was blue sky. Best of all, we got to see two grizzly bears up close.The were eating dandelions along the road and were very unconcerned about the vehicles stopping to take pictures. Then one decided to cross the road in front of us, stopped and pooped. Naturally Fred captured the moment.
We are staying in a National Park campground tonight which is right on Lake Kathleen. It's another of those gorgeous blue/green lakes nestled beneath snow covered mountains. The boys put the porta-boat together and went out to try their luck at catching some more fish - like we need more! Maybe luckily they didn't catch any. So we cooked up the Dolly Varden they caught in Haines and was it ever good. Best tasting fish of the lot.
June 17 - DESTRUCTION BAY, YUKON
It was a short drive mileage wise today but took longer than expected due to road construction. We stayed at the Cottonwood RV Park which is right on Kluane Lake, the largest lake in the Yukon. The view out our front windows was really nice. Unfortunately, it was overcast and drizzly most of the day so the mountains were clouded in. This time we had electric hookups but only 15 amp and it was pretty inconsistent. Still no telephones so can't even pick up Pocketmail. The bugs have hatched and are swarming - not too many mosquitos - mostly small flies.
Barb and Fred