Given it was my last night in Haines, I took the opportunity to explore a bit. As I expected absolutely loved the small friendly feel of the Haines Borough, not to mention being surrounded by incredible views no matter which direction you look doesn't hurt.
The short 18ish mile drive back along the Haines Hwy from the Eagle Preserve was a tad bit nerve racking. While I'm obviously used to driving in snow in Nebraska, Haines Hwy hadn't been cleared very well in the more northern areas. So I crept along slowly not wanting to slide off into the "wilderness"... Once closer to town, roads were much better.
The "hotel" for my stay was nestled away in the Mud Bay area, probably 6 miles south of Haines with local photographer Tom Ganner and his lovely wife. There are no "street lights" so you can imagine how incredibly dark it can get in the late afternoon. Their absolutely stunningly beautiful home provided a full view of the Chilkat Inlet and Mountains directly off the deck of their gorgeous home. There's even a staircase leading off the deck out to the Chilkat. Not only was this my "home" for my stay, but I also had the pleasure to sit down and have breakfast and dinner each day; which was very, very tasty and delicious! Great food and great company, can't go wrong!
I consider myself very blessed and fortunate to have connected with Tom, had I not, it's very likely this adventure a would've never become a reality. Weather can be strange in the Haines given the dynamics of the mountains. In the Mud Bay area the wind seemed to be much, much stronger and colder. So...I didn't explore the staircase as I didn't want to get blown into the water. ;)
Made sure to capture lots of photos during my adventure, although even thinking back now there are shots I know were missed! All the more reason to visit again as there were lots of great sights during my adventure!
Haines' oldest continuously operating business, Haines Packing Company, was located just a 1/4 mile from my "hotel". They've been processing seafood in Letnikof Cove since 1917. It's a very, very cool strikingly brilliant red building also draped with snow capped mountains in the background.
Planned on exploring the heart of the Haines Borough or "downtown". I was actually very surprised how incredibly windy it was; blowing right directly into Fort Seward. Not sure if the water was always that rough or was simply because of the strong winds blowing.
Below is a video capturing the mountains and water looking into Fort Seward.
Below is a video standing just in front of Fort Seward, looking out... Yeah, I am fairly sure I'd enjoy that view each morning and evening if I lived in Haines.
There's a local Hammer museum in Haines, approximately 2,000 hammers on display at the museum at any given time, and over 7,000 items in their collection. I really should've visited and taken photos. My old running buddies would've appreciated me "laying down the hammer" like we used to do on long runs! Guess I considered myself pressed for time as really want to explore more.
A place I really enjoyed grabbing some grub was Mountain Market. They carried about anything you'd want, and honestly I could've very easily survived living off grub and drink from here...as I'm actually a pretty low maintenance kinda guy when it comes to grub. But the Hubert's Lemonade there was hands down best I've ever tasted! There was also "one" restaurant (I believe) open called the Bamboo Room, never did eat there but may have to try next year. ;)
I did some quick local shopping, but unfortunately since it was "out of season" there wasn't even a HAINES T-shirt or sweatshirt to buy or bring home for DCrew. Out of season simply means the cruise ships aren't operating any more for the year...good because all those people would drive me bonkers! Bad, though, because I've nothing really to purchase... Guess I'll have to come back in season, not sure about that! ;) It's too bad more places can't afford to stay open year round vs. just during cruise ship season, but easy to understand why given costs, etc.
As the sun began set on my final night in Haines, I finally made my way back to Ganners for dinner. In addition, have to ensure my gear is ready for tomorrow's venture back home. That gear, mainly being my photog equipment. You recall that bag that I so much enjoyed seeing arrive on the baggage carousel a few nights back in Juneau, that bag containing the lifeblood of my photogin' passion...
Gotta make sure it's all snug and safely packed away! That is...unless there's one more adventure left to capture in Haines "tonight"...
Could I be so lucky?