Friday, July 7, 2006
Trip to Haines, Entry #1
Over the weekend, my "Searching for Wildness" course went up to Haines, AK and the surrounding area to immerse ourselves in a wilder part of Alaska and to get a chance to experience some aspects of the culture of people who existed there long before any European explorers "discovered" the place. We left the Auke Bay ferry terminal at 8AM and crossed, incidentally, the line of my kayak outing from the other day before leaving Auke Bay and heading north.
The islands and glaciers weren't even the point of the trip, just a gift along the way. We drove a few miles northeast of Haines, up the Chilkoot river, to stay at a small camp whose purpose is to educate folks on the culture of the local Tlingit people. Nora Marks Dauenhauer, a clan elder, was our host and guide, along with her husband, Richard Dauenhauer. The Chilkoot river comes down the east side of the mountain range and the Chilkat river comes down the west side. Each has a distinct history.
He's cute as heck, grazing away on the river grasses, but grizzly cuteness is proportionate to distance. The same sized bear, when he appeared at the camp later that day, was a little more pulse-quickening.