Thursday, January 28, 2010

Going backwards for a bit...Haines, Alaska

I promised to catch up on our travels from Alaska to Kentucky so here it goes starting with Haines, Alaska.

Before reaching Haines, Alaska we had to drive through the Yukon Territory of Canada. Here is the entry:

We drove from Fairbanks, Alaska to Haines Junction, Yukon Territory Canada and stayed the night there for some needed rest at the Alcan Motel. The next day we woke up and had breakfast at the motel's restaurant and headed back out to drive the Haines Highway. In Haines Junction there is a fork on the road. One way will lead you to Whitehorse, Canada and on to the rest of the Alcan Highway. The other direction heads to Haines, Alaska and crosses the US border back into Alaska. There is not much in the small town but a restaurant, an motel and gas stations but the St. Elias mountain range surrounding the community was gorgeous.

Haines Junction

Haines Highway headed to Haines, Alaska

We finally made it into Haines around 2:30pm and knew the sun would be setting soon and so we drove around taking pictures of the town before heading out of town towards Chilkoot River and Lake State Park to where our lodge was located.

The dock area in Haines.

There is a lot of history in Haines. One of the historic landmarks was Officer's Row.

In 1902, ongoing border disputes between the U.S. and Canada provided the justification for the first permanent army post in Alaska. The white buildings of Fort William H. Seward still stand and are a distinctive landmark of Haines. Decommissioned in 1947, the fort was bought by a group of war veterans with hopes of creating an arts and commerce community. The buildings are now privately owned homes, accommodations, restaurants, galleries, and shops. (taken from If you would like to know more about these historic homes here is a link to more information.

As we drove around town I wanted to set eyes on a couple totem poles. One was the killer whale totem pole in front of the Fire Station and the other was the totem pole in front of the Haines Public Library.

Killer Whale Totem

A dear friend of mine Susan Stevenson a local photographer traveled to Haines in August of 2009 and happen upon the making of the public library totem. Here is a link to her entry and pictures of the totem before it was erected.

I was so happy to have found the totem pole finished and took pictures to be able to share with Susan since she talked to the designer/instructor Jim Heaton. The totem pole was beautiful and a passerby mentioned to me that the box was a time capsule.

Here are pictures of the finished totem.

We took a couple more pictures around town then headed out of town to Chilkoot River Lodge and saw a beautiful sunset on the way there.

Looking back at Haines downtown...

The sun already setting at about 3:30pm

Heading to Chilkoot River Lodge

Finally making it to the lodge and enjoying a spectacular view and friendly hosts.

Our room was not only comfortable but the glass sliding doors opened up to a covered deck that boasted the most spectacular view in Alaska.

After unloading our luggages we headed back into town to grab a bite to eat at the Lighthouse restaurant. The docks looked neat in the dark and to think it was only about 5pm.

We knew once we were done with dinner and back at the lodge we were going to have one of the most comfortable nights of sleep since the trip started. And we were going to need it since we will be embarking on the ferry for 3 days the next day.

If you ever have a chance to travel to Haines, AK enjoy every bit of the small town atmosphere along with the magnificent landscape.


Chrissy said...

Gorgeous photos as always.... glad u are safe..

Susan Stevenson said...

Oh Abby! Your Inn is gorgeous! What a view! Looking at your photos, I am stunned by the beauty of Haines in the winter! I really loved Haines so much in the summer, and seeing winter photos makes me love it more. I forgot to update my blog with your totem photos.. I need to do that! It looks beautiful erected outside the library. What a lovely trip you (and I!) had. Such a beautiful community Haines is.