Saturday, 27 July 2013

What country are we in?

Haines, AK

Haines is actually in Alaska. We didn’t realise we would be crossing the border today, so we weren’t really prepared food wise. The officer at the border control gave us a bit of a hard time with questions like who owned our car, did we own property in South Dakota, did we pay taxes to the US etc. Pity you have to hold your tongue. Imagine what they could put on their computer about you if you pissed them off? We had to go back to Canada and get rid of all of our firewood because of beetles. We couldn’t take in our tomatoes, apples and capsicums because of their seeds. No citrus or potatoes because of the skin. We now have a list, so will be better prepared next time. After about 10 minutes he decided we were okay and changed his attitude and told us about all the things to do in the area.

The road into Haines is in excellent condition. There were hundreds of prairie dogs all the way along the roadside, which are like squirrels that have been to meerkat school. When they aren’t running, they are on sentry duty looking for danger. Pity one didn’t realise our horn meant get off the road! Sadly he didn’t make it.

they fish with the bears up here!
We missed out on a spot at the state camping ground but we probably couldn’t have fitted in anyway. It was a pity because it was right near the Chinook River where we wanted to be. The first night we went out after dinner and saw a sow and her cub on the beach of the inlet. The next day she came along the river, within a few metres of us and Lindsay got some fantastic shots. Last year there were eleven bears weaving their way around the fishermen. The bears weren’t concerned about the fishermen as they were catching more fish than they were! When a bear comes, someone will call out “bear” and everyone just moves off to the side, no drama. If they are in the water and the bear doesn’t look like it’s going to come in, they don’t even move. They have never had an attack here. The local info sheet says that if a bear wants your fish, don’t throw it at him, just release it into the river so that he has to go after it naturally.

Black bear - sow and cub

Black bear cub
We are a bit early as it has been a very quiet start to the fishing season. We should come back in late August. We saw an older grizzly male today that came down to the river, but he got scared when he saw a group of people on the bank and ran back into the forest.

People come from Whitehorse for the weekend which is about 250 miles away, how cool to go to another country for the weekend?

We only saw about three bald headed eagles, in November they get about 3,500 here. They are majestic raptors, that I would put in the same league as our wedged tailed eagles.

Bald Eagle
No dramas at the Canadian border but she did advise us that the US would probably give us a harder time as the years go by. Great.

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