12 Aug 2015--Got to Haines, Alaska on Monday, and just took a quick ride around town after supper to get the lay of the land. Being an ocean-side town it is beautiful, of course, and we even spotted our first eagle in a while, so we were feeling pretty positive about our few-day stay here. Isn't this 1st pic just stunning!?
Ran into another couple of women we had met over the winter in Florida and they told us about some spots to hit while we were here, so we headed out on Tuesday to see what we could see. It was rainy and/or cloudy and cold the whole day, so we mostly rode around. Here is a view of an area that has 2 glaciers; in both the 1st 2 pics there is a glacier on the left side of the pic, and a bigger one on the right sides. In the 3rd pic and the video is a close-up of the bigger one that has a huge waterfall flowing heavily from it.
On the other end of town was a fish processing plant that you could take a self-guided tour at. The 1st 2 pics show a close up and "across the bay" shot of it, while the 3rd pic here is just to the right of it.
Also to the right of the plant is this dock. I posted both pics because I loved differet things about them. I love the doc and 2 boats in the 1st pic, while in the 2nd you can see that the name of that boat on the back of it is "America"...you have to blow up the pictures, but I feel like when I look at the 2nd pic the name of the boat and that scenery just sums up the beauty that we have seen over the years as we have traveled. I LOVE IT!!!
So on to the processing plant...in succession, here you see the initial spot where the removal of the head and fins along with the gutting of the salmon takes place. In the 2nd pic in the yellow bucket are the "roe", or fish eggs that the salmon have swam all this way to spawn. The plant here sells them as caviar or fish bait (although if you could get the money for caviar as opposed to fish bait I don't know why you would do that?).
After the fish are cut into fillets, they are put thru this machine to remove the bones along the spines.
And then on to this kid to "tweeze" any bones the machine missed. I would like to have gotten a better look at this little contraption, because all he seemed to be doing was rolling it over and over the fish, but he clearly was seeing bones and removing them...we just couldn't figure out how that happened. (We were looking thru windows at all this, so we couldn't ask while they were working.)
And finally, the fish are passed on to this station, where they vacuum pack and seal them for shipment and sale to the likes of us in their store.
Saw this in the gift shop...these 5 deadly terms are pretty funny!
North of the town is a 45,000 acre Eagle Preserve, where up to 3500 bald eagles gather yearly to feed and have their young. We saw at least a dozen, but the bigger group doesn't get here till about October. I included a handful of these info postings...pretty interesting, and I know Ellen joined us in being fascinated by the eagles. They talk about mating for life, how they soar without ever seeming to flap their wings, being able to see a fish a mile away, and even the size their nests can reach... amazing!
All these pics were taken from the side of the road, so we couldn't even get the really close ones to us as their was no pull-outs on the side of the road. ugh!
This is actually a mother and her baby...mother on right!
On the way home we took what we thought was a road to get us even closer to the water, but it ended up being a neighborhood of Natives. Alaska doesn't have "reservations" as they do in the lower 48, but this was definitely a native community, and by any standard a very poor one. I only took these pics here, a Native Veteran's memorial and then close-ups of the totem poles.
We went out last night to the area not far from the fish processing plant to see if we could get a sighting of a known mother grizzly that has 2 cubs being raised in the area. We actually missed 2 mothers and their cubs by all of 10 minutes (UGH, UGH, UGH!), but saw these sights and had to marvel at our luck to be in a place like this!!! I don't know which is more awesome?
Going out again tonight to look for those momma and baby bears...fingers crossed!!!