Jun 23, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird
Alaska never disappoints, and today was no exception! We awoke anchored near the small town of Haines, at the northern end of the Inside Passage. Clouds hung in decorative draperies over the mountains, with some blue sky visible beyond. There were many different activities offered throughout the day. Our earliest group departed for a hike up nearby Mount Riley. The hikers explored the mountain for several hours and were rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding area and a sighting of two moose! Bicycles cruised along the road and many folks strolled through town to visit museums and breweries. A fly-fishing group caught a fish, only to have it whisked away by a stealthy bald eagle!
Most of our group took a 25-minute bus ride alongside the Chilkat River to the small community of Klukwan. Here, we visited a Tlingit cultural center, where we saw fish drying and a beautifully carved canoe. We were invited to watch a series of dances, complete with singing and drums. Tlingit regalia is quite interesting and can be extremely intricate. Afterwards, we saw some amazing artifacts on a museum tour.
Next, we boarded a set of rafts to float down the Chilkat. This glacially-fed river is heavy with silt; its murky gray color makes it impossible to gauge depth unless you can read the water. One of the rafts managed to get stuck in a set of gravel bars, and its passengers had an exciting but very slow ride back to the main river channel. The day ended with good cheer and dinner, as we head south to tomorrow's adventures.
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