Exploring Haines, Alaska

May 28, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Bird


Today we had the opportunity to start our day with a morning stretch class and an early riser’s breakfast. We anchored just offshore in Haines, coming into position early to take advantage of the many varied excursions ashore today. After a hearty meal we entered the Zodiacs for the quick trip to the dock, and here our paths diverged. Some of us went on a full day hike to attempt the summit of Mt. Riley, a hike leading up from the temperate rainforest into the sub-alpine zone covered with mountain hemlocks and muskeg areas. We also had a hike out to Battery Point, passing through and spruce and hemlock forest where we encountered many species of wildflowers, including Unalaska paintbrush, chocolate lily, yarrow, and false lily of the valley.

Our flight-seeing trip shuttled us to the airport where we loaded the 6-seater De Haviland Beavers for our adventure skyward. Amazing views of glaciers, mountains, fjords, and mountain goats were captured by our eager eyes and cameras. Others headed out to the Chilkoot River, where we tried our hand at fly fishing. Still more of us opted for rafting at the Chilkat Preserve and touring the Klukwan Village. Some of us went on a cycle tour along the glacial fjord to Chilkoot State Park. Here we got to see a fish-counting weir and many young eagles perched atop rocks along the river’s edge.

One group went up to Chilkoot Lake and paddled ten-person canoes exploring this glacially scoured lake. Others of us chose a leisurely stroll exploring around town. Reports say the local halibut fish and chips are excellent! The Hammer Museum and the Sheldon Museum were also a big hit. We will have many interesting stories to share when we gather again this evening for appetizers and our traditional evening recap.

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About the Author

Eryn Bordes

Naturalist

Born in Southeastern United States, Eryn first discovered the beauty of nature by exploring her neighborhood loblolly pine forests. Her creative nature led her to earn a degree in art, and later expressed itself in a love of exploring the details of nature as a botanist.

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