Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Valdez to Haines

On 2 August, we left Valdez and headed for Tok. Yes, we were there before, when we were inbound to Alaska. Of course, this is the return trip and we are headed home! The smoke and haze had cleared from the harbor in Valdez and the view as we left town was spectacular. We stayed overnight in Tok, then headed south toward Haines. The trip from Tok to Haines is 450 miles, so we spent the next night in the Yukon Territory at Cottonwood RV Park on Lake Kluane. Unfortunately, the smoke caught up with us and we could only partially appreciate the gorgeous scenery. This campground was unique in that there are no electrical lines in this area. They run a generator (24/7) to power the camp. I must admit, the sound was barely audible and not at all intrusive.

On the way to Cottonwood RV Park, we stopped at several lakes to photograph Swans. There are both Trumpeter and Tundra varieties in this area. I did get some pictures, but the birds were too far away to get very excited about the results. Perhaps I need a longer lens? Brenda and I were discussing the shortcomings of my 300 mm, but too slow, lens. She hinted that if I was a good boy, I might get a present. Then, I explained to her the lens I was coveting was about $6K and she told me to forget it. There was no possibility I could be that good. Regardless of the inferior swan pictures, I surprised, and was surprised by, a lone coyote. He photographed nicely.

We made it to Haines mid-day on the 4th. Our ferry leaves at noon on the 6th. In between those times, we'll “do” Haines (they have a museum here that boasts 1,500 hammers – I gotta find out what that is about), get the rig squared away for putting on the ferry, and buy food supplies to supplement our meals on board. It is rumored that we may have WiFi on the ship! If not, we'll be out of touch until at least the 8th, and possibly until the 11th, when we should get to Washington state.
By the way, if you click on the link Brenda provided in the previous post, you can see the latest photographs -- week 7 or 8 or however long it has been!

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