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Outside of Haines, AK

Today we left Kathleen Lake Campground with the goal of reaching the southern terminus of the Haines Highway. It's 152-miles from Haines Junction, YT to the town of Haines, AK and we've only seen the first 17-miles of it until this morning.

The scenery along this stretch of highway once again left us speechless, so I'll just share a few of Tricia's photos and leave it at that.

All except this last one because there is a little story that goes along with it!

This little bear carved out of marble can be found in a roadside pullout about 25-miles outside of Haines, AK. While we were pulled off the road and Tricia was taking photos I noticed an Airstream that was headed north out of Haines and about to pass us by.

So I did what we usually do when we see another Airstream approaching us from the opposite direction, I rapidly begin blinking my high beams at them and waving frantically (Tricia usually takes care of the waving, as I'm the one doing the driving).

To my surprise their turn signal came on and they pulled into the roadside rest area to join us. When they began to roll past me in the parking lot I realized it was someone we have met before, a couple of times actually!

Carmen and Jim first crossed paths with us back in Seward, AK on August 10th. They were right behind us in the line waiting to use the dump station and we had a short conversation before it was our turn to dump. At that time we exchanged contact information by way of exchanging business cards with our blog site addresses on them.

Then on September 2nd while I was enjoying my dinner inside of the Fast Eddy's Restaurant in Tok, AK I glanced outside the window as saw their truck and trailer in the parking lot. It wasn't there when I pulled in. So after finishing my meal I went searching the restaurant for them and found them enjoying a pizza on the other side of the building. After another short conversation we again wished each other "Safe Travels" and went our separate ways.

Now here it is September 8th and our paths have once again crossed, totally by accident. So had we not pulled over to take photos and I hadn't blinked my headlights at them we would never have once again shared a little conversation and had the opportunity to wish each other "Safe Travels", possibly for the last time. But you never know!

There was a long stretch of road construction just south of our little unscheduled rendezvous, so it was 45-minutes later when we entered the small town of Haines, AK.

One of the more original welcome signs we've seen.

The Lighthouse Restaurant and Harbor Bar is literally at the end of the Haines Highway.
Notice the barricade protecting the building. It's located at the bottom of a very steep hill.

We are camping at the Chilkoot Lake State Recreation Site, which is located about 10-miles outside of town. Again we timed our arrival just right and secured the last available lake front site. There are only five of them and one is continuously occupied by the camp host. The rest of the campsites are located on two loops up inside a dense stand of trees and offer no views of the lake.

Our long pull-thru Site #19 on the lake. All the lakefront sites are pull-thru.

What a perfect setting to observe the Northern Lights, but it didn't happen.

After getting all setup we were off to town to grab a late lunch/early dinner at the Lighthouse Restaurant. Where else would we eat after it received a "Two Thumbs Up" review from Carmen and Jim while talking in the rest area? Thanks for the recommendation guys, the Halibut Fish and Chips were delightful and the Seafood Chowder was more than yummy!

We also checked out the RV park next door (as seen on the left in the photo above) and made reservations for a waterfront site on Saturday, our third and final night in Haines.

FRIDAY - The main reason a lot of RV tourists (us included) save the 300-mile detour from the Alaskan Highway down to Haines until the end of the season is to check out the Chilkoot River.

The Chilkoot River is only 1-mile long and connects the Chilkoot Lake on the north, to the Lutak Inlet on the south.

The river has three things of interest. The first is that it has a late season salmon run, which is why the other two things are prevalent here!

Those other two things would be Grizzly Bears and American Bald Eagles.


Tricia took over 500 photos in the two days we were here and probably 100 short videos.

She came down with what I've been calling a bad case of "bearpictitis",
which is the uncontrolled desire to photograph bears!

We've tried to trim them down to as few as possible to share,
but here is where we we're at. ENJOY!

There were two distinct family groups active on the river during our visit and while they were both on the river at the same time they never seemed to share their space with each other.

The most prevalent group was a brown grizzly mama and her set of last years triplets.

"Mama on the Move"

"Three Cubs Waiting on the Shore"

"The One That Got Away"

"Chow Time"

"Care To Share?"

"I'm Not That Hungry" or "I Don't Like to Get Wet"

"I'm Taking This One Home for Myself"

SATURDAY - This morning we have a couple of hours before we have to be off our site and can't check in at the Oceanside RV Park until noon anyway. So we hopped into ROVER and drove back down to the river to see if there was any bear activity this morning.

I'm so glad we did because Tricia got some of our best videos today.

Let's check out the other grizzly family on the river. This black grizzly mama has a new pair of twins from this spring that she's trying to keep under control. As you'll see that's not always easy to do!

First, let me introduce the stars of today's show!

Big Black Mama Bear

These two I nicknamed "Heckle and Jeckle". You pick which one is which!

Now I'm sure that when Big Black Mama left Heckle and Jeckle on shore to go catch some lunch for the pair, she instructed them to stay put and out of sight. About ten minutes later for some "known only to them" reason they decided to swim to the opposite shoreline where we all were standing and watching from.

The current was strong, and they probably couldn't touch the bottom, so consequently they ended up about 100-yards downstream from where they started before they safely reached the other side. Then they immediately crossed the entrance drive and headed up into the woods.

About 10-minutes later Big Black Mama noticed they were missing and to put in mildly, she wasn't happy! You'll see what I'm talking about in the next three videos.

"Let's Play Hide and Seek with Mama"

"Where Did Those Two Rascals Go?"

"Follow Me Home, We're Done For Today!"

With a little slack time in the bear activity Tricia got around to taking photos and videos of the numerous juvenile and adult American Bald Eagles that were all around.

This is a juvenile American Bald Eagle.
It takes 4-5 years until the beak and eyes turn yellow, and the head and tail feathers turn white.

The same juvenile eagle in flight.

Oh look everyone! The bear family from yesterday is back. Let's go take some more videos.

Since I nicknamed the other bear family, it's only fair I do the same for this family.

How about Big Brown Mama and Huey, Dewey and Louie? Yeah, that works!

"The Gang's All Here"

"She's Got Another One!"

"Gimme Some Of That!"

"Like Fishing in a Big Wide Barrel"

"Time for Some Rosehip Desert"

"Let's Go, Time for Our Morning Nap"

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