Spring Time in Haines

Another day to explore.. What to do, I ask myself? After putting another coat of drywall mud on my neighbor Kathleen’s ceiling, I load up the camera and fishing pole and set out. Sometime back, I drove out to Mud Bay and noticed several cabins, houses and dwellings with all sorts of solar panels and windmills adorning the beaches adjacent to said structures. These little set of homes are where the incoming tide from the Lynn Canal meets the long, forested ridge of Mt Riley’s south end, and it it fascinated me. These homes appeared to be accessible by foot alone and the possibility of setting out on foot and along the rocky coast  line to reach the remote part of the Chilkat Peninsula and it’s coast line of the Canal might be a pleasure to see. I set out, crossing the muddy tidal flats of Mud Bay itself, and emerging at the first of the dwellings, I veer south along the rocky coastline and find myself entangled in a sea of rocks; literally millions of barnacles adorn these seaside rocks, and a footstep cannot be taken without some measure of disturbance. I gain the rocky point separating the Lynn from Mud Bay, and the omnipotent Coast Range of Southeast Alaska is dominant and towering. The surf is high, with mighty waves crashing. The views are whimsical and there affect on me great. After wandering the rocks for a spell, I emerge onto a beach head with some solar panels visible, indicating someone’s boat access only cabin. I figure that a stomp through the woods is a better alternative than retracing footing along the rocky shores for a return back. Into the rainforest I go, passing the cabin in question and bushwacking through Devil’s Club and Alder thickets. After a short bit, a trail engages my feet and I am happily trudging through the forest. The trees here are enormous and the forest floor covered with thick moss. It occurs to me; winter is over and springtime in Haines has indeed arrived. Finally, I can see the reaches of Mud Bay through the trees and another house, cabin, woodshed, and other adornments come into view. The trail I am on appears to dead end into this property and unwilling to commit to trespassing on someone’s beautiful setting, I once agin succumb to the great bushwack. Soon I am rambling down a set of back country stairs to the flats below and cross the tidal flats once more and back to the road to the truck. Not a bad way to spend a few hours.

It is still fairly early, So I drive north and find myself again at the Chilkoot river, where I proceed to fish for Dolly Varden under the blazing spring Alaska sky. No fish caught, but that’s OK. Soon the Salmon will be running…

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Battery Point

Working Saturdays is never fun, and today was no exception. After a stint at my neighbors house doing some drywall repair for her, I then headed to my regular job to finish up on the custom shelve’s I am building so the owners can get to applying finish on them. By 1:30 pm I am free for the afternoon. What to do? Go fishing up on the Chilkat? Attempt a hike up to Mt Riley’s still snowy summit? I am tired from a long week and something mellow, yet engaging is in order. I decide to head out to the always straightforward and beautiful Battery Point Trail. I grab binoculars and camera and head over to the trailhead. There are Canadian license plates everywhere and I remember that it is spring break in Canada. The Battery point trail is a fine treat, and I never tire of it’s simple availability of gorgeous rainforest, open, rocky beach, and splendid views of the Chilkoot Mountains. Bears frequent the trail in season and it is common to see migrating birds, Orca’s and Whales out in the water. The rainforest section of the trail is about a mile or so long, and features a twisting, root filled trail that crosses bogs of muskeg, streams, and is as green a place as one is likely to find anywhere. After a spell, one emerges onto the rocky beaches of the Lynn Canal and the Chilkoot Inlet. This leads to a prominent point called Kelgaya Point. It seems that most folks stop here, but the “trail” continues on and becomes more fascinating with each step. Short trails break away from the coast line and across fields and into the twisted Spruce, all the while meandering through a maze of witch dens and goblin hollows creating an ethereal setting. Another long and curving rocky beach brings one to Battery point proper. I have never been past this place, but I would imagine that one could most likely walk all the way to Mud Bay….

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