Sunday, June 15, 2014

cruising alaska... wednesday

wednesday morning found us in skagway.  i'd scheduled a float through a bald eagle preserve, again making arrangements through

this tour involved a lot of getting to and from.  first their was the 45 minute ferry ride from skagway to haines (and back of course).  we were met on the dock where we then took a short walk up the street to meet our guide, Joe Ordondez of Rainbow Glacier Adventures (

ava was not feeling well that morning so it was just my wife, sis, bud-in-law, myself and joe going on the float. joe provided us with rubber boots to keep our feet dry, life vests as well as a sack lunch at the end of the float.

after another 45 minute ride we were putting into the water.  after a quick safety orientation, getting in and out of the raft etc. we were off.  we floated the chilkat and chilkoot rivers through this part of beautiful Alaska.

joe kept up a running dialogue relating the particulars of the area.  but we were here to see bald eagles.  the end of may is not peak eagle viewing season in the chilkat river valley. but "there are resident eagles".  and we did see eagles; not as many as pictures i had been had led  me to expect. (those pictures were taken in november  when eagles migrate to the area)  but we did see eagles; and a black bear and various other feathered friends along this 2 hour float through some of the most beautiful country God put on this blue orb we call earth.

Below are my feeble attempts to record scenes I wish were as clear an those in my memory.


eagles mate for life.  a nest is added to year after year and can weight up to 2000 pounds.

it's hard to get the shot when you're floating by in an inflatable raft trying to take the picture with a handheld camera.

the chilkat and the chilkoot are only 2-3 inches deep in some places.    

A spin on the Chilkat!

take a look at the video below.  A video I ONLY WISH I HAD SHOT of the beautiful Chilkat Rivery Valley  (borrrowed from mizamook filmworks -- via the youtube)

all too soon our time with joe was done. after a quick change of footwear and lunch at the river take out, we were on the road again back to haines to meet the ferry for the ride back to skagway.  a lot of down time was  invested in getting there and back but the time on the river with joe was totally worth it.

if ever I GET a REALLY GOOD camera, and should an opportunity present itself, i'd like to go back to haines in November when the eagles flock to the open waters of the chilkat.   rainbow glacier  adventures also take folks like me on bald eagle photography outings. that would be so cool. 

joe is good people.


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