We love to travel the world and see different things. Rarely do we visit a place twice. So why have we come back to Alaska for the sixth time? Let me try and answer that…
Traveling here presents an adventure in itself. I chill-out on a lounge chair with a sleeping bag for three nights under the solarium on the Alaska State Ferry, from Bellingham, WA to Haines, AK. Even make a few friends along the cruise up the marine highway, which cuts through mountains and occasionally stops at remote towns.
Marilynn had a more exciting adventure. She drove the entire Alcan Highway, through Canada to Alaska, slept in her car off the road during a snowstorm, and once even car camped in a Walmart parking lot while in the Yukon! Look at the amazing array of wildlife she gets to see along the way….
Smell the fresh air. Winds blow over glaciers, rivers, sea-filled fjords, and pristine forests. The smell of fresh air has almost no smell at all.
See the surrounding glaciers, mountains, rivers, canals and forests. The view never grows old. Fabulous scenery engulfs us the moment we arrive.
Feel the cool days and nights. Love the feeling of being cool during summer. Beats the hell out of that excessive heat back in Phoenix, AZ!
Taste some of mother nature’s delights. I caught four Dolly Varden (trout) my first day here. Looking forward to the Sockeye Salmon run that should begin next month. Maybe I’ll catch one this year, who knows?
We pluck wild oyster mushrooms from a decaying Cottonwood log in our “backyard” as an excellent side dish for the fresh fish. As I write this, we are still hoping that they were indeed oyster mushrooms!
The sound of a running river serenades us to sleep at night. (Doesn’t really get dark this time of year) Sometimes rain pouring on the cabin’s tin roof adds to the music. A symphony of bird songs wakes us each morning. Sure is a nice break from the noise of freeways, airplanes, sirens, helicopters, and politicians!
Our backyard is the Chilkat River in the Bald Eagle Preserve. Hundreds of bird species appear at different times of year, along with seasonal salmon runs. Each fall season, over 3,000 American Bald Eagles converge right here for the final salmon run on this continent, like an annual convention in Las Vegas.
This summer marks our fourth year volunteering in Haines, Alaska as caretakers for Alaska State Parks. That basically means that we clean and stock outhouses, bring garbage into town, and keep the preserve clean. In return, we get to live in a small cabin in the woods. This one even has the luxury of electricity. There is no running water, but driving about 22 miles to fill containers with glacial fed spring water has a certain Zen feel to it. Our outhouses are only 100 steps away from the cabin.
The small town of Haines (1900 pop) has no stoplights. Some folks don’t lock their doors. Others leave their keys in the car, parked “downtown” for friends that might need a lift. “Just let me know where you left it.” We have made some good friends here.
Alaska not only satisfies our senses, it overwhelms them. And we appreciate it! Ron Mitchell
Such an adventure… for what, the fourth or fifth year??? ENJOY… you are missed at the Club.. I tell everyone about the adventures of Ron and Marilynn… and they say, WHO????
Hey Skip, we’re not in town that much these days. Got used to the YMCA. Hope that you have an adventure coming up!
Thank you, Gavin!
I always love your travelogues! Stunning views, great adventures, and a so many, varied, poignant and often humorous experiences! You two have lots of people living vicariously through you. Thanks so much for your blog!
Thank you, Kimmy! Glad that we got to meet you guys here last year.
I am one of those VICARIOUS people!!! Great pictures, better story! And yes, anywhere cool is better than Phx, AZ in the summer! Enjoy…
Thank you, Tammy. Sorry that you guys are getting pounded with high heat so early!
Yup. All that outdoors splendor, being away from urban environment, etc. I think it’s incredibly health-promoting. You guys are living the dream of many. Cheers!
Just lucky to be here, Jill! You know firsthand.
Ron, check out my Facebook page, I gave you a shout out. Gerald Castillo
Thank you, Gerald. The next drink is on me!
This sounds just amazing Ron! Love the photos and the descriptions. Alaska is a magical place for sure:)
Thank you, Inger. Had a brown bear in our backyard a few days ago. (The moose we saw recently may be in trouble!)
2018. If we’re all still alive and mobile, I’ll be there. Just decided.
You are always welcome any time, you know.