A chronicle of life on the road from O.B. Sirius (Zoe) and Sundog (John)
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Fish Wheels and Eagles
I recently read a review of Haines that compared it to Cicely, Alaska, the fictional town from Northern Exposure. It is an apt comparison -- the town is about the right size, a bit quiet and sedate, and, from a couple encounters we have had with residents, we suspect the people are a touch quirky. But unlike Cicely, this town actually IS in Alaska (Northern Exposure was shot in Roslyn, Washington).
Here is another view of Haine's harbor:
We took a drive today along the Chilkat River, and saw something I have only read about -- a working fish wheel:
Fish are captured by the rotating nets. As the net moves to the upright position, the fish fall into the chutes at the bottom of the net, and then drop into the holding tanks on the side. The fish wheel needs no motor -- it is powered by the flow of the river. Here is a short video of the wheel in motion:
We saw our first bald eagle today, flying over the bay outside our window. We also visited the American Bald Eagle Foundation, where we met its founder, Dave Olerud. Dave told us about many of his experiences in this part of Alaska, including hunting (and being outwitted by) mountain goats, flying in a helicopter over lush green valleys, and fishing for trout that practically jumped on the hook. Thanks, Dave. We enjoyed talking with you!
Haines is visited by about 6 cruise ships each month, a very slow pace compared to Skagway's 4 per day. But we expect one will dock tomorrow -- so we'll see if Haine's sleepy little-town personna changes when the crowds of tourists arrive.