Saturday, June 18, 2016

We are a little behind on our blog because internet service has been 3G at the best since Skagway. Once a person gets used to 4G, reverting back to anything slower is like living in the Dark Ages. The population of Skagway is about half that of Haines but 4G service was prevalent. My guess is that can be attributed to the fact that so many cruise ships dock there.

After the exciting ferry ride described in our previous post, we found the Hitch Up RV Park in Haines and got settled in. Amazingly we were able to get our Direct TV system homed in on the satellites through a break in the trees. Dawson Creek was the last time we were able to see the satellites due to their low location on the horizon. We quickly regretted the news update from the lower 48.

The main things to see in Haines are, if you are lucky and we weren't, the bears feeding on salmon near the Chilkoot Lake, the glacier and fish packing facility at Chilkat Lake, and Fort Seward. Most of us probably forgot what we learned in school about the purchase of Alaska. Here is a cut and paste from a history website.

U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward signs a treaty with Russia for the purchase of Alaska for $7 million. Despite the bargain price of roughly two cents an acre, the Alaskan purchase was ridiculed in Congress and in the press as “Seward’s folly,” “Seward’s icebox,” and President Andrew Johnson’s “polar bear garden.”
Of course we now know that Secretary Seward's actions have provided the US with many natural resources like oil and gold. A little additional reading reveals that the British were interested in Alaska and after the US purchase quickly finalized the territory of British Columbia dashing the US government's hope of acquiring direct overland access to Alaska. Secretary Seward had nothing to do with the creation of Fort Seward in Haines. Here is a quote from Wikipedia.
 It was the last of a series of 11 military posts established in Alaska during the gold rush era, and was Alaska's only military facility between 1925 and 1940. It provided a policing presence for miners moving into the gold mining areas in the Alaskan interior, and a military presence during negotiations over the nearby international border with Canada. The fort is named for William H. Seward, the United States Secretary of State who oversaw the Alaska purchase.
Officer's Quarters at Fort Seward

Enlisted Barracks

Originally there were two enlisted barracks but one was destroyed in a fire.
Chilkoot Lake

View of Ft Seward on left and Haines on right

On our last full day at Haines our friends decided to ride the ferry over to Skagway for a walking tour of the town. The ferry they were on was larger than the one we put our car and motorhome on. Take a close look at the photo below and notice the absence of the bow doors. Sure wish that was the one available when we made the trip.
Ferry entering the channel to Skagway

Glacier at Chilkat Lake

On Tuesday, June 14, we left Haines and headed up the Haines Highway intersecting back with the Alaska Highway.

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog. Happy birthday!! We miss you guys.