Today was filled with choices and adventure. After breakfast, we boarded a bus for a 22-mile journey to the Jikaat Kwaan Heritage Center for the Chilkaat group of Tlingits. We drove by a small bog with four nesting trumpeter swans and the “Last Call” phone booth placed in the woods and decorated with US and Canadian flags. At the elegant museum, we viewed several cultural artifacts and listened to explanations of daily life, both past and present.
Afterwards, we bussed to the Chilkaat River to board six, 9-person rubber rafts (including the oarsman/naturalist) for a thrilling float down the river. Our oarsman demonstrated superb manual and verbal dexterity by navigating the shallow and impossibly meandering river while expertly explaining the river and associated biology. Well-developed upper-body strength, precise timing, and focus are required for this job!
Following a picnic lunch alongside the river at our disembarkation point, we traveled back to Haines for an afternoon filled with activities. Some went on a guided bike tour, while others biked independently. Others went fly fishing (catch and release) on the Chilkaat River. A few hiked to Battery Point, while others visited the Sheldon Museum and the eccentric Hammer Museum, which features hammers of all sizes and function (who knew that hammers could pound in so many different ways!). And lastly, a few of us just wandered about the historic town of Haines.
Dinner was the traditional crab feast, featured locally caught Dungeness crab.