Thursday, October 25, 2012

skagway to haines ~ eagles and whales

dear friends, you may be wondering why there is a large boat parked behind my sister and i...that is our cruise ship and we were in alaska still! this is part five of our epic trip (one more post should do it!) if you would like to see where we have gone so far you can go here here here and here...i did not know alaska would take six posts to share, i now think our 49th state is more of a ten poster. it's that grand.

we'd just spent the night sailing through north america's longest fjord, the lynn canal, now arriving in skagway...

at the visitors center, rugged charm...

these backpacks repurposed as planters made a lovely first impression (and so did the dock for our giant ship, can you see how incredible it is here?!)

places to eat in skagway

though no time just yet, we're boarding another boat for an adventure to...

haines, 'the adventure capital of alaska'. we are taking an excursion, we're going to look for wildlife and american bald eagles on the chilkat river!

motoring down the taiya inlet we saw humpback whales!

they were so close!

haines, alaska

oh so picturesque. and even in summer, snow

we disembarked (i speak ship now! hee hee)

and climbed aboard a bus for the chilkat bald eagle preserve

 totem pole!

according to wikipedia, there are only 752 households, and 505 families residing in the town, wonder what it would be like...

here we are! we were warmly welcomed and handed a stick with which to cook our lunch over coals, before we set off on our eagle preserve wildlife river adventure

there was a cozy place to eat, either outside, or in, where there were heaters

then it was time to suit up! we were encouraged to take any outerwear we might need to keep comfortable on the boat. there were waterproof jackets, gloves, ear warmers and lap blankets, the chilkat river is glacier fed and very cold

here are the jet boats we took ...

to see the beauty

of our surroundings

we also saw black spruce and cottonwood, a lesser yellow legged sandpiper and a kingfischer

we saw queen's anne's lace, red tailed hawk and trumpeter swans

 the last of summers blooms

sierra, our lovely and knowledgable guide, turned off the boats motor

and with only the sounds of nature

we floated

and then, we saw one!

an american bald eagle!


we saw six in all, and a few nests, one with a eaglet in it

here is sierra, our jetboat captain and guide! she really likes what she does, and she made our experiance fantastic, thank you sierra!

we're back where we started, another amazing adventure to write in my journal! if you'd like to learn more about the jet boat tour, you can read the blog here and the chilkat bald eagle preserve, here (i'm dreaming about returning in winter to see the thousands of eagles that come, the largest gathering in the world)

we returned our borrowed gear, said goodbye to our guide and the chilkat river

and hopped back on the bus to take us

back to the boat and back to...

oops! my sister and i have a lot of 'camera face photos' (taking photos of each other simultaneously, i do not know why we do this)

on our way back up the taiya inlet, we counted three waterfalls

many seabirds

skagway harbor

now it was time to discover the town

we made the most of our limited time (you have to be back to the ship by a specific hour)

things to love about small town alaska.... a bus driver had left her hat on her seat, and  the door ajar,  colorful historic buildings at every corner, and peeking between them, the stunning mountains...only in a small town, an incredible alaskan town


driftwood building

hi sis!

hee hee

gardens in their final bloom

we stopped for alaskan blonde ale and tater tots, which was a yum combination

only in alaska. these are flavored vodkas... there was frostbite, permafrost, rhubarb, smoked salmon and fireweed (which we did not try)

the streets began to empty, shops were closing up, and we, after consulting a clock, did a fast walk
back to our ship

we may have been among the last before it sailed! and guess what? they really do shout, 'all aboard!'.  next juneau!

* if you haven't yet entered to win melissa's beautiful yarn giveaway, go here. a name will be drawn this sunday!


  1. Hi Lori,
    your trip to Alaska really made me smile and take a deep breathe.
    Thank you so much for sharing!


  2. Oh. I so envy you!! What a wonderful tour!! Next best thing is to share it with you so thanks for taking the time to post them and let us be a part of it all!! I loved the snaps of the towns and town life...and of course the wild life and flowers too! Sooooooo much to look at . Joan

  3. as usual ; wonderful!!! thank you,
    xxxx Alessandra

  4. Hi Lori! What a beautiful place.I feel like I got to go along! :) We get bald eagles near here, and I think I saw one off the interstate one time, but I was driving and couldn't slam on the brakes to make sure - lol! Thank you for taking the time to post all these lovely pics. xox!

  5. What a wonderful special experience...thanks for taking us along too Lori! The scenery and wildlife is spectacular. x

  6. Beautiful, I want to see Alaska now !

  7. I like that there was a tent to suit up for the float on the water, just in case you were not prepared! I guess they've had some people freeze a little :) Funny that you and your sister snap at the same time. My sister and I say "take a photo of me!" Constantly!

  8. Boats, buses, bald eagles, whales, waterfalls, and dogs! My boys are now begging for me to take them there right now. I told them in 8 years we are going to go.

  9. Lori, I didn't think your trip could be anymore spectacular than what you have already posted, but I was wrong, I think I love Skaguay the most, what a town!
    I love small towns and just know I would love to live here. Now, just how am I going
    to make a living? I really must think on this!

  10. Lori, I could read/view 20 Alaska post and never tire of them. You are such an amazing tour guide via your camera. Small town Alaska reminds me so much of Northern Exposure. I want to live there.
    BTW I love camera faces!

  11. Your photography is so magnificent! My hubby just passed by and said, "what are you smiling about?" That says it all, your travels make me smile and give me serenity for the day.
    I have been lucky enough to see an American Bald Eagle here in the Pacific Northwest; in fact, he was soaring over our lake. There are nature reserves close by on the Snoqualmie River that we can take a tour of--it's on my list for next year when life is not so hectic.
    Thank you for sharing, XOXO

  12. i want to go to alaska so bad, your posts are so lovely. thank you so much for sharing.

  13. Oh my what a lovely stop on your cruise, just beautiful.

  14. Camera-faces. I'm giggling. We have lots of camera-face pictures here too.

    You got to see whales! And an American bald eagle! And so much Alaskan beauty, all in the company of your lovely sister. You are one blessed woman, Lori.

  15. i am enthralled by:

    1. you look great
    2. you and your sister look great
    3. whale(s) looks great
    4. bald eagle looks great

    and don't get me started on the scenery and shops. expansively quaint.

    what a trip. you know who has booked her trip and flight into anchorage. i am crying in my tea.

    love love

    1. Not anchorage. Fairbanks. Without moi :-(

  16. you are bringing back such wonderful memories!!! (I remembered seeing that same driftwood building in Skagway); I'm thinking it was Juneau where the salmon hatchery was???? and the hundreds of eagles? Oh, how I want to go back and add some of the interior things you did around Denali!!! I've enjoyed this trip with you so much.

  17. mmm, tater tots and ale. yummy! but, only in alaska i think. or anywhere else where the air is fresh and brisk. i can breath deep just looking at these pictures. those huskies are so cute!

  18. Breathtaking! It's like going back to a different era. And the eagles, so exciting!

  19. Lovely pictures dear! Interesting places and amazing animals. Yes Alaska is a 10 post!
    have a wonderful weekend♥

  20. how glorious to be in the presence of that stunning eagle. and what a blessing to have a sister who shares your love of adventure - you and lindy make great travel companions!

  21. Wow!the eagles, the whales! Wow! Your photogrpahy is so stunning! You have a real ability to make me feel a part of what ever you are shooting. So cool!

  22. Oh my, everything looks so wonderful!! I love your adventures. I hope to get there one day. I need to get to the Maritimes too, another destination of mine.

    I love the shot of the blue water/horizon. Wow to all of them, really!


  23. Wonderful alaskan post, Lori! I have just spent a very absorbed and happy time here, learning something new and enjoying the atmosphere you have created with your wonderful pictures and words.....thank you!
    Helen x

  24. Lori, I am playing catch up and was so surprised and pleased to see another Alaskan post! Beautiful and the eagle stopped my heart. xoxo

  25. WOW Lori Ann!!! What an amazing trip - seems so restoring and lovely. The photos made me feel like I was there. Thank you for that! I'm stopping by as I'm starting our Thirty Days of Giving Thanks challenge today. Since you joined us last year I just wanted to remind you that we are starting - simply thanking one persona each day for the month of November. Be well and thanks again for taking me on a part of your trip! xo -shannon

  26. What an absolutely amazing part of the world ... I'd just love to visit it! Thank you for sharing your gorgeous images Lori :D

  27. What a lovely little town. Such an exciting trip. But I'm not too sure about that rhubarb and smoked salmon vodka. :/ Thanks for sharing Alaska with us. Best wishes, Tammy


xoxo lori