My workbench

My workbench

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Paddling, Hiking, Reading And Relaxing

I have photos...but they will post another day. I have been having a lot of fun up in and around Haines, from hikes on the local peaks to paddling with friends (and dogs) around Chilkoot lake. It took three days to do my laundry, as every time I started, someone else offered something radically cooler and more fun to do. Currently, the South East Alaskan State fair is going oj, with a crushing influx of thousands of people along with live music and dancing all night. While the new faces are great, the accompanying stress at the store has been a bit of a drag. Oh well... At current, ihave four days off, before I have to come back in...I will go check out some more music tonight, and then go for an overnight with a friend on some local ridges...I truly love it out here.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Not too much to report...I made it out from Skagway to Whitehorse in two lifts, stopping for a bit in Carcross to enjoy a beer from my first ride, stretch, and catch a second lift into town.  Stayed last night with a wonderful Couchsurfing host, slept indoors for the first time in a month...have taken three showers since I arrived yesterday afternoon (3 in 36hrs, as opposed to...closer to one a week in camp). 

The town itself is rather...bland.  Not too much appeals to me, and I will be hitching out tomorrow morning, headed back towards Haines.  The drive should take around five hours, with one changeover...From Haines Junction (Yukon Territory) to Haines (Alaska) I will likely see a sparsity of cars...but I will make it!:)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Good morning

Haines, AK.  3:30AM.  The pinkish glow is invigorating.  Might as well upload some pictures, and enjoy the beautiful sunset.  Rain will wreck the rest of the morning.  
So I packed my bag to head out to Porcupine Creek, and spend the day lounging in the sun and swimming. I made it about two hundred feet from my campsite when my awesome neighbor Henry rolled past, calling out my name. Forget swimming, we have got other plans...

Cut it, brine it, smoke it.
Yup, time to smoke some fish. Henry works on the fuel dock, so tue fisherman returning tend to give him less-than-perfect salmon fillets. We stopped to pick up beer and watermelon at the store and set about dry rubbing the fish. With this completed, the time hovering around noon, we decided to make use of the beautiful day and go for a hike. A flurry of phone calls brought only one other individual, but that did not deter us, and we there set off, hiking out to Mt Riley via the Battery point Trailhead.

 The hiking crew. We met Carine on the trail headed in the opposite direction, and plied her with beer.

The view down the Lynn canal towards Juneau.  Mt. Riley is around 1700' above sea level, and has quite the view from the top.  From my campsite, it should take about an hour to summit Riley.  I'll be heading up there for some R&R more than once this summer.  The only downside?  Lots of bear scat.  But enough trees that I can hang my hammock up there~

My first Alaskan snow!  At 1500', it was a bit of a surprise, but still nice to see that the warm weather we had a week ago has not removed ALL traces of the previous winter.

The hike down afforded some incredible views of the west side of the peninsula, with sprawling forests amid relatively untouched wilderness.  All of this a ~30min walk from my campsite in Haines.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

independence day

My 4th of july was epic. Unfortunately, my camera died just before the fireworks, but I will recharge it and post those photos shortly.

*EDIT* Photos posted.
The day started like most others, rolling out of my hammock and hitting the bathroom. Breakfast was forgotten as I joined the throngs of people heading downtown, walking in eager anticipiation of the festivities for the day. I walked past the fire station where the parade was forming, heading for a packed spot on main street. Being a Wednesday, cruise ship passengers were in town, creating quite the crowd.

The parade itself was cool, and fun to see. My coworker Kristy rolled past on her quad, two children perched in her lap. Vets and boyscouts carried flags, marching proudly. Firetrucks let loose with their sirens and horns, with two of the town's five or so police officers leading the way for it all. Trucks pulling homemade floats began to roll past, some with more effort than others. It was a fun time all around.

Not quite Grandma, but still pretty cool

Post-parade, I headed for Tinglit park, to the local festivities and the library bbq. Remembering the sagely advice of my father, I started at the pie booth, enjoying a slice of chocolate chip cherry cheesecake....had I a fridge, I would have bought a whole pie. Lunch was a grimmer bratwurst on the pavilion, enjoying the ocean view with the mountain backdrop. The sky had cleared by then, giving a warm glow to the air. I briefly browsed the library book sale, indulging at a cost of a quarter per book. My final event was the hammer contest, where I nearly threw a hammer in my furious attempt to drive a railroad spike into a half log as quickly as possible.

After some relaxation, the music fesitval began, and my friends and I headed over that way. We paid, entered, met other friends, and listened to some great local tunes. The plan was to stay there until the fireworks, and then go watch them on the beach.

The plan changed.

Somehow the idea was presented, and rapidly accepted, to go hike the speed trail, and watch the fireworks from above. A quick dinner of chili over potatoes with melted cheese on top was scarred, followed by an absolutely grueling, vertical ascent up the Ripinsky ridgeline. From campsite to tower, we took an hour and eight rocked. In our haste, we arrived an hour or so early. We were suitably prepared, with cards, music, a hackey sack, and a few beers.

The crew: Aaron, Steve, Nick, Melissa

The hike down was a rumbling, bumbling, stumbling train of fun. My first time actually needing headlamps, as we were in the forest after midnight, proved no real challenge, and I was actually able to hike a steep vertical without much light assistance at all. Grunts, groans, gasps and curses were occasionally punctuated with Nick's occasional cry of "hey bear!" Even on the fourth of July, one cannot be too carefully.