I am finally in Alaska!
I left Whitehorse this morning and headed for Haines Junction. The highway was good going and not many potholes to avoid. However, the gophers weren’t happy that I had nothing to worry about, so started to play dare on the highway! The amount of times my tires came close to squashing one and putting it into gopher heaven is just unreal. So there I was, driving along, then having to slow down for another pair of gophers and next thing I know a Grizzly darts out of the ditch and runs across the highway, all about 10 to 20 meters away from the car. Thankfully I was going slow (thank you gophers!) so no impact took place. It was all so quick that I could just about determine that it was a Grizzly, a young one judging by its size, and the other thing that stood out was that it was collard. For the best part of the next hour I kept having to pinch myself to ensure it was all real!
Once at Haines Junction I turned off the Alaskan Highway and onto the Haines Highway, which so far is the prettiest highway I have been on. The wildflowers growing at the roadside are just stunning colours of pink, purple, yellow and white. I also had the pleasure of seeing a couple of American Bald Eagles overhead. Once I crossed into Alaska it was just amazing how different it looked from just over the border. It’s as if Mother Nature drew a line and said “I shall make this side look much nicer than the other side”. The difference in how everything looks and even feels is just astounding.
At the end of the highway sits Haines, and wow is it ever beautiful. It sits on a wooded peninsula between the Chilkat and the Chilkoot Inlets and is described as the real “Northern Exposure”. The towns is a pretty small american town with lots of native arts and crafts to be seen and bought. Tomorrow I am off over to Skagway via the FastFerry, for a day trip to the Klondike Gold Rush town, which I have been told can be very busy especially if Cruise ships are in dock. I am hoping to do some gold panning, so wish me luck!
The photo below is showing part of Haines looking at it from the other side of the bay.