Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ferry to Haines, Alaska: June 23

The pouring rain returned last night and this morning we revisited the delightful experience of taking apart our tent and closing down camp in the middle of a driving rain storm. After packing up, we had to take our car in for an oil change…luckily that fixed the “maintenance required” light problem! This is the first time we’ve required two oil changes in less than three weeks, but we have logged over 3,500 miles already, with many more to come. Then we took advantage of our last day in the “big city” by doing some grocery shopping to provision ourselves for more remote destinations. Our next stop is Haines after a 4 1/2 hour ferry ride, which is the last for this trip. Hopefully it will be long enough for our camping gear to dry out a bit. **It’s later tonight and we’ve decided that rather than camping in the pouring rain with camping gear that never dried out from last night, we would instead stay at The Halsingland Hotel (see photo above), which occupies several buildings in historical Fort Seward in Haines. This fort was the US government’s first military establishment in Alaska, built at the turn of the last century. When we called for rates, desperate to treat ourselves to a real bed out of the rain, their quote was ridiculously high. However, when we checked Orbitz on Jenny’s iphone we got an outstanding rate that wasn’t too much more than camping (a little plug for Orbitz and for the iphone!) – at least that’s how we rationalized treating ourselves to the room tonight! The proprietor was super friendly and upgraded us to a huge room with a private bathroom in the old Officers’ Quarters – we must have looked very worn out when we arrived to get such special treatment! Tomorrow we’ll be heading into Canada for one night in Haines Junction, and then we’ll cross back into Alaska again the following day. We’ll post again when we have time and internet.