Roadtrip to Haines

4 10 2012

Our annual Yukon/Southeast Alaska fall trip! Haines is definitely one of my favorite places in Alaska, and the bonus is you get to drive through the Yukon to get there! I’ve been going there since I was six and never get tired of the 15 hour drive. It’s an amazing roadtrip, through mountain passes, past roaring rivers and turquoise colored mountain lakes. And if you’re lucky, a bit of wildlife along the way.

Sunrise south of Tok.

Sabrina. Excited about the Yukon.

 Destruction Bay, Yukon. Always gorgeous and windy! As many times as I’ve been through here, I never get tired of seeing Kluane Lake.

Sabrina catching some air above Kluane Lake. 

When we got to Haines we headed to the Chilkoot River to check for any bear activity. The river (like everywhere else in Alaska because of the crazy rain this fall) was super high, making fishing difficult, and not as many bears. We did find one-and he was quite lively, putting on a heck of a show. First, he popped up on the road bridge over the river, peering over the guardrails at the river, as if trying to get a better view of the fish. He then pranced up the river, chasing fishermen (just playing), swimming, and fishing here and there. He seemed to be having a pretty good time!

Brown bear in Chilkoot River, Haines. 

Brown Bear eating salmon in Chilkoot River

 Totem Pole.

Haines harbor.

While fall is just about over in the rest of Alaska, the colors were just starting to turn in Haines.

Close up of a couple of drums at Jussi’s house in Haines.

Jussi on our beach hike.

Tika & Sabrina.

A couple of very playful sea lions. We had a total of four of them romping around and breaching like whales right offshore in front of us.

Interesting accomodations on the outskirts of Haines….

Fresh snow in the Yukon! It made for an interesting (yet beautiful!) drive home in some places…

Roadtrip to Dawson City

6 06 2012

With the weather in Alaska wet and soggy, naturally we headed to Canada for some warmth and sun 🙂

My five day kayak trip over Memorial Day weekend got canceled at the last minute, so I called my old friend Mitch, and we were off to Dawson City the next morning! We had a pretty stacked weekend…. between gambling and the can can show, panning for gold, exploring the paddle boat graveyard and  the 4×4 dirt roads of the Yukon, and I even got my packraft out on the Yukon!

I love all the historic buildings and wooden sidewalks……

View of Dawson City and the Yukon River from Midnight Sun Dome.

We found these strange bird houses everywhere along the Bonanza Creek Road. Apparently a gold miner put these up to attract swallows, who in turn eat the pesty mosquitos, that are plentiful in the area. It seems to work.

If quartz was worth something we’d be rich! Mitch panning for gold in Bonanza Creek at Claim 33.

Paddle boat on the Yukon.

The coolest find in Dawson City-The Paddleboat Graveyard. There are what is left of seven paddleboats here. Four of them, including this one, the “Seattle”, are pretty much right on the banks of the Yukon.

Three of the paddle boats are 100 ft +/- in the woods.

Yummy steaks and the camping to ourselves……our fire on the banks of the Yukon near 40 Mile River.

Roadtrip to Skagway

26 09 2011

Sabrina, Tika, and I decided to change things up this year. We love the fall in the Yukon, but instead of heading to Haines, like we normally do, we decided to check out Skagway since we had never been. We got a late start on Friday, but lucked out and got far enough north to escape the clouds in Southcentral and got a small display of aurora.

Aurora and the just past full harvest moon.

The Yukon!

Sabrina in the Yukon, Tika in Alaska.

Fall colors along the Alcan.

Bove Island, Yukon.

When we got to Skagway, we happened upon Octoberfest and some great music at the brewery. We also learned of a race the next day, “Box of Rocks.” It’s a self-timed 3 mile race from downtown Skagway to Upper Dewey Lake a 3100 ft elevation gain. 2600 ft of that is in the last 2.5 miles between Lower Lake and Upper Lake. At the lake, everyone reports their time, drinks a PBR, and helicopters down! We signed up right away 🙂 Suprisingly, they even let Tika in the helicopter.

Upper (Dewey) Lake.

Temsco helicopter landing near Upper Lake.

From inside the helicopter, heading to Skagway on the right.

I found a chair that suited me.

We found that if you didn’t hit Skagway on a cruise ship day, most things are shut down. Unfortunately, that meant we couldn’t ride the White Pass RR. We decided to head back a little early, to spend more time in the Yukon with the fall colors and to check out some spots we had never been to between Whitehorse and Skagway. The area between the border and Carcross was stunning.

Venus Mill on Windy Arm, Yukon Territory.

Fall was definitely in full swing.

The biggest suprise of the trip was the Carcross Desert-northern sand dunes made up of glacial silt. 

Me doing a cartwheel.

Sabrina making sand angels.

There were a bunch of oxidized looking leaves.

Aspens in the dunes.

Sabrina hanging out.

Back in AK!

Roadtrip-Anc to Pdx! Old school friends, skiing, & the brew tour.

23 09 2010

Greg and I left town-a little late, on Greg time :)-it was a gorgeous fall day.  The colors were brilliant and the sun was shining-a rarity this summer. We had a great drive down-perfect weather, lots of black bears (although mostly at night), and only one casuality-I killed a bunny rabbit in the Yukon *tear*.

We managed to drive about 2600 +/- miles in 3 days…….

Long Lake, Alaska

Greg soaking in the autumn sunshine on the way to Glennallen.

Driving into the sunset near Tok.

Sunrise in the Yukon.

Cassiar Highway, British Columbia

Andres came down to Portland from Seattle to show me September skiing in the Northwest.  He was awesome & let me beat up his equipment on the rocks 🙂  First we headed to Mt. Hood in Oregon and hiked and skied at Timberline. The volcano moonscape of Mt. Hood was beautiful-and-so different from the snow and ice covered volcanoes I’m used to seeing in Alaska.

Andres with Mt. Hood

Andres & me.

Me with Mt. Hood in the background.

Andres headed down.

The next day we headed up to Mt. Adams. Another volcano, but completely different landscape.

There was still plenty of flowers out.

Ancient skier’s pueblo.


It was a beautiful, sunny hike up. Until, that is, we hit the upper Crescent Glacier. The clouds rolled in and left us with little visibility, cancelling our plans of skiing some chutes off the summit or the Manzama Glacier.  Also, like gorillas in the midst, some forest service rangers magically appeared and ticketed us for hiking above 7,000 ft. without a permit.  Seriously??? Apparently, it costs $15 to hike above 7,000 ft. in Washington & Oregon.  But since we didn’t get a permit (the ranger station so convienently located 35-45 minutes away), it was a $75 ticket.  I’ll stay in Alaska, where hiking is still free-thanks.  We ended up just skiing the Crescent which was mostly sunpocketed-a great difference from the groomed spring ski like run at the resort the day earlier. As soon as we started hiking down heavy rains soaked us reminding us we were in the Northwest.

Greg and I got to have dinner with Colleen & Jim at Montage-it was fabulous with interesting drinks to match! It was great to see them again!

Saturday Greg took me downtown Portland on the Max-a lightrail system that cruises around town.  We checked out a few Portland institutions- Powell’s, Pioneer Square, the Chinese Gardens, the Saturday Market, and attempted to go to Voodoo Donuts-but was unwilling to stand in line for 45 minutes for a donut-even if it was maple bacon.  It poured rain on us most of the day, but it was still fun walking around checking out the different sights.


Wendi and Greg at Walking Man Brewery.

My last day in Portland was a beautiful sunny day-perfect day for a brew tour!

I had a beautiful road trip, great time exploring and skiing the NW volcanoes, and most importantly, spending time with good friends!  It was a quick week, but great to be able to spend lots of time with Greg & his family, spend time in the mountains with Andres, and to hook up with Colleen & Jim, and Mike & Keri!

%d bloggers like this: