After talking of it for weeks, my good friend Gene and I decide to take a weekend and sail his boat down to Sullivan Island, which is situated in the confines of the stunning Chilkat Inlet about a dozen or so miles south of Haines. The weather is remarkable: so good in fact there is no wind for sailing, so motoring down the Inlet we go, bound for glacial outpours, rugged mountains, hidden canyons, unnamed rivers, Grizzly Bears, and spawning Salmon.
That evening, moored just off the shores of Sullivan and drinking wine while gazing at the eerie mist engulfing the inlet, a ghostly and unexpected whale surfaces in the dark and breathes loudly through it’s blowhole. Neither one of us knew that any whales were in the inlet this time of year.. a gift.
The next day, calm and serene, the mountains and glaciers shining bright, we motor up inlet to an unnamed river to inspect. A massive Cottonwood sporting a huge Eagle’s nest, giant Grizzly tracks, unexpectedly hidden canyon and glaciers, and loads of coyote tracks. We hike perhaps a mile upstream before turning back. I vow to myself to return to this place and hike the distance through the hidden canyon to the splendid glacier beyond. Another trip; I must get a boat!
It is jaunts such as these that remind me that Haines is a most fantastic place on this Earth, and I call it home…