YA-HOO! We just returned from a week in Haines, Alaska. We picked blueberries with the determination of blueberry lovers who didn’t get to pick last year. Now we have 18 “blueberry pie equivalents” neatly stacked in the freezer. Also, sour cherries and pesto made from beach lovage. We have jars of dried mushrooms –cauliflower, chanterelles and boletes.
Ken usually catches enough pink salmon to fill a cooler. Last week a young brown bear with blond ears interfered. This bear swam out to the island where Ken was fishing, chewed on his box of lures, and then returned to shore and lay down at the place where he would walk back. Ken realized if he caught anything he couldn’t bring it home. Our friends made up for our shortage of pinks. They gave us sockeye salmon, halibut and crabs. We are lucky ducks.
The front page story in the Chilkat Valley News was about the outdoor ping pong table that our friend Eric built out of concrete. We helped rig up a canvas tarp over it – the tarp weighed about as much as the concrete table. We had a table tennis tournament while a winter wren chirped from the wood pile.
When we landed in Haines, curtains of rain glistened in front of the dark green forest. This has been the coldest summer there since 1974, with only 16 days reaching 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I put on all my long underwear. I thanked Malkolm for reminding me to bring rain pants. I got chilled, riding the ten miles out to our friends’ place outside town.
Cruise ship passengers also cycled in Haines that day. One guide led a bike tour along the Chilkoot River.”I apologized about the rain,” he said. “But they did not mind it at all. They were happy to experience rain. They were from southern California.”