Home Sweet Home

After 43 long months of not seeing my family in California, it was time to head south out of the Great Alaskan Empire, and into the realm of family and old friends not forgotten. It was a strenuous voyage of ferrys and plane rides, airports and freeways, but eventually I was home to catch up with my Mom, Sister, Nephew, Pop, brother-in-law Dutch and old time friends not seen in quite some time. Catching up with John Boyer of Edible Pedal in Sacramento, and Debra Banks of Rivet Cycle Works was a joy. My old friend and climbing partner Dennis even drove up from the Bay Area so the two of up could discuss our plans for an Alaska Range climbing trip this coming August. Ten days later finding myself looking back with fondness of my visit upon an Alaska  Marine Vessel  heading north from Juneau, I am once again in awe of the magnitude of the Upper Lynn Canal and it’s mountains, waterways, and glaciers. Two days in Juneau prior to being aboard this vessel, I had the pleasure of catching up with another old friend not seen in many years. Amelia was in Juneau visiting her boyfriend James and the three of us celebrated with beers and lunch along Juneau’s waterfront.

Now in the waters of southeast Alaska once again, I am getting the fond sensation of being home. The Alaskan air is crisp and cold, but I spend a great deal of the boat ride home outside perched on the vessels decks gazing at the scene unfolding. It is breathtaking to see it again. Back in my crib later, I sift through mile after mile of unseen footage and unfortunately few photos. For some reason I had been so preoccupied with shooting video to make a living with I had neglected much in the way of photos or even snapshots of my family. This makes me feel deeply sad, and I vow to not let that happen next time.

The next couple days are spent not only in front of the computer editing and working, but getting out a bit exploring, shooting video with friends Gene and Michele, shooting photos  and stomping around the hills.

It has been two or three years since we have had a “real” winter here in Haines, and this winter is a real treat and a joy for me to call it such: Winter! The temps have been, more or less, consistently cold, and there has been snow on the ground for many weeks. The resulting ice at Picture Point along thee Lynn Canal and the Chilkat Estuary beaches has been extraordinary.

Going back to work next week after three solid weeks off will be another challenge upcoming. I keep reminding myself of the upcoming adventures to be had that need paying for to drive me back. The Lost Coast in May, and the Alaska Range trip with Dennis in August I look forward to immensely.

In the meantime, I have ice…

 

 

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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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