A Spectacular Day on the Haines Highway

After a rather challenging travel day on Sunday, I was hoping for much better yesterday, and as I was writing the blog the weather and road reports looked very promising.

The view from the deck in front of my room at 07:15 was wonderful. This is a big part of the reason that the Captain’s Choice is where I usually stay when I’m in Haines.

The winter view from the Captains Choice Motel in Haines, Alaska
There goes Jeremy to fuel up one of the vans. In the background is the Bamboo Room where the group met for dinner the previous evening, and some of us stayed a while for drinks.

The Bamboo Room in Haines, Alaska
The view down Main Street to Portage Cove and to Chilkoot Inlet (a northern extension of Lynn Canal) is wonderful in any season, but with a thick layer of fresh snow – wow!

Haines, Alaska
On the right is the Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center that most of the group went to when we arrived.

Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center, Haines, Alaska
One of my favourite locations for photography anywhere I go is the harbour, and Haines is one of the better ones 🙂 I took quite a few shots here.

Small boat harbor at Haines, Alaska

Small boat harbour at Haines, Alaska
Looking to the northwest, it was looking like we had a very good day ahead of us! This picture was processed as an HDR image to handle the extremely high contrast between the mountain and the dark street.

Haines, Alaska
Jeremy led the way to a spot I’d never been to, the Haines Fair Grounds, with its replica frontier town with false front buildings that were built for the Disney movie “White Fang”, which was filmed entirely in Haines in 1991. Some of the false fronts are so false that there’s actually no building behind them!

Fair Grounds at Haines, Alaska

Haines, Alaska
Our next stop was the main interpretive stop in the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. Although the main gathering of eagles is in November when the Alaska Bald Eagle Festival is held, we did see a couple. This stop provided a bit of exercise…

Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve in the winter
…and a good spot for some portraits 🙂

The 33 Mile Roadhouse is a must-stop, and I do on almost every trip along the Haines Highway.

33 Mile Roadhouse, Haines Highway, in the winter
White vans on snowy roads pose a big visibility problem, so Jeremy added strobe lights to the top of ours.

33 Mile Roadhouse, Haines Highway, in the winter
For both character and food (for most us, that was pie), 33 Mile is tough to beat.

33 Mile Roadhouse, Haines Highway
The highway ahead…

Haines Highway in the winter
I even got to play with a dog, who enjoyed fetching chunks of ice 🙂

The first of only 4 vehicles we saw on the highway north of 33 Mile.

Trucking the Haines Highway in the winter
Looking back down the highway. Our border crossing back into Canada wasn’t quick due to computer problems, but was friendly as always.

Haines Highway in the winter
Enjoying the sunshine. The wind got a bite to it as we climbed, but it was still wonderful.

Haines Highway in the winter
The Three Guardsmen is one of my favourite mountains anywhere, and it was certainly spectacular yesterday. A few miles later, clouds moved in, and combined with high winds, caused our planned group photo at the summit to be delayed until Dawson City.

The Three Guardsmen, Haines Highway, in the winter
We went into the campground at Kathleen Lake to meet Ron Chambers (on the right with Jeremy), who had lit a fire to take the chill off the shelter, and he told us about his life growing up in the area over the past 71 years. Ron could probably tell stories for a week steady, and I always enjoy hearing them.

Ron Chambers
The shelter is a lovely structure.

And the view isn’t too shabby either!

Our planned very-late-lunch stop in Haines Junction didn’t work out because the restaurant closed before we got there, but a stop at the new grocery store got our guests by, and we were back in Whitehorse just as the daylight disappeared.

As soon as I post this, its time to get organized – we’re off to Dawson City in 2 hours 🙂


A Spectacular Day on the Haines Highway — 3 Comments

  1. Fantastic Photo Shots Murray. Wish I were there. Brings back great memories. So wonderful to be able to see Jeremy in the shots. There is no place like the north. Anneka