Alaska Trip: Haines

Alaska trip
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Haines Alaska

After our day at sea cruising Glacier Bay, we stopped at port at the small town of Haines. You may not have heard of Haines (I had not), because it’s not a major port. Most cruise ships in the area stop instead at the nearby town of Skagway. My husband heard that there is a “cruise ship lottery” of sorts, and that our ship had drawn the short stick, and that’s why we ended up at Haines rather than Skagway. He preferred to see the more popular town, so he took a ferry there. But the ferry cost over $70 per person, so the rest of us opted to remain in Haines.

You can see that the town has a certain charm.

I’ve written earlier about our first stop in Haines, The American Bald Eagle Foundation. After that, we walked around town, going into some shops and making small talk here and there with employees. Alaskans do seem to be a bit different from the typical people you meet here in the contiguous 48 — independent people. Many of them said they were not born in Alaska, but visited for some reason, fell in love with the place, and have lived there ever since.

Haines Alaska coffee shop

Haines Hammer Museum

My husband had done some pre-trip research, and had discovered that Haines’ claim to fame was its Hammer Museum. Yes, a museum devoted to hammers. It wasn’t high excitement to me, but I’ll have to admit that it was charming in a quirky way.

Haines Alaska Hammer Museum

Haines Indian Arts

The girls and I hiked up a steep road to the area where Fort Seward had stood. There was a building there that the touristy-guy at the dock had recommended to us. We went inside, and saw some Indian Arts — totem poles in progress, Indian masks being made …

Fort Seward Alaska Indian Arts

Of course, this being Alaska, there were plenty of boats and fishing gear in view (and a gorgeous view it was).

Haines Alaska fishing boats

I don’t know why, but this picture is reminding me of the book The Shipping News although I know, I know. That book is set in Newfoundland, way on the other side of Canada. Similar latitude, though, maybe?

Vaandam Haines Alaska

Then, it was back to the ship. I know I’m not typing a lot here, but with views like this, I figure you’d enjoy photos more than commentary anyway.

Heather Lende

Back on the Zaandam, Mom and I went to a talk by Heather Lende. I’d never heard of her, but she is an author who lives in Haines. She lived in New York for her first 20 years or so, and has lived in Haines ever since. That was quite a culture shift, as you can imagine, and her books (which focus on life in Haines) sounded interesting. I plan to read them, although I haven’t yet.









5 thoughts on “Alaska Trip: Haines

  1. I loved our day in Haines. In the afternoon it got SO HOT! The author, Heather Lende, was interesting. I did get her book “Find the Good” at the Plainfield Library and brought it home and read it. Heather is a professional obituary writer. I even like the title – Find the Good! We could each apply that to our own life as we rise each morning. I believe as we walked in Haines we saw Ravens and Eagles flying overhead. Alaska has so much beauty! They don’t have to cook up a Disney World or some such. God took care of decorating Alaska and He did good! Alaska gave me wonderful memories and those are the best souvenirs!

  2. I really enjoyed today’s blog. What spectacular views!! No, I can’t remember hearing of Haines but it sounds like a charming place to visit. Can’t wait for your next chapter.

  3. Yes, I learned a bit about Haines on my first trip to Alaska back in 1987. You are right about the charm and beauty and fabulous scenery to behold in Alaska. I would probably go there again, if given the chance. Two trips to Hawaii and two to Alaska are not a bad run in one lifetime. The books sound so interesting! You must tell us about them later on after you have read them.

  4. I’ve never heard of Haines. But with beauty like that, I’m sure I’d enjoy it.

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