Let me tell you a story...

This little blog is about me, Hailey and my pursuit of happiness. I've decided to move on from modeling and to a new chapter of my life, artisry. I paint, I take pictures and I enjoy junking for vintage goods. All of this is done with lots of day dreaming in between.

I have a shop on Etsy that I just opened up in Feb 2009 and I am excited to see where it goes from there.

Thank you for your love and support.

Hailey

Friday, November 20, 2009

A day in Seattle

DARREN AND I had made it across the Canadian border and now we were back in the lower 48 states.  It had been almost 3 weeks since we had been in the lower 48 states.  It was actually sad.  We loved the wilderness we had been in and now things were starting to feel very civilized and restricted again.  civilization = restrictions  ... and we aren't fans of restrictions.  :)  


Cities started to fly by fast!  Darren and I had been use to miles and miles of driving before a city came up but before we knew it we had flown past Bellingham and were within 30 minutes of Seattle.  The sun was setting fast and we hadn't slept in a bed for about 5 days.  Which.. wasn't all that bad but more than anything we craved showers.  We were on a budget and quickly found out that small budgets and Seattle do not mix.  We also found out that Motel 6 was booked for the most part.  


The only room we could find was one down at the Seattle SeaTac location.  We took the room, and the nightmare began.  The floors were filthy.  You could almost see the germs moving on the floor.  We didn't dare take our shoes off.  There were two beds in the room.  I pulled back the sheets on each of them.  One bed appeared to have the old sheets still on.  They were all crinkly like someone had already slept in them.  Gross!  The other bed looked untouched.  Next we went to look at the shower and realized the shower bar was about to fall out of the wall.  It was getting worse and worse the more we looked around.  The truck started to sound so good to sleep in again.  


As it started to get dark the parking lot filled up.  Scary people showed up.  Two hundred dollar ghetto cruisers pulled in with stereos pounding.  People were yelling in the parking lot and we realized we were the only white folks there.  The stares came at us like as though we were fresh meat and we met their hard stares with our own crazy white people stares.  The dog didn't like anyone.  I went to lock our hotel room door up real good and realized the door had previously been kicked in and the lock and handle provided little to no security.  


That was it...Darren went to see if they had a different room.  They did.  One room.  A smoking room.  Around the corner.  That one was just as dirty, down a dark hallway and the smell of cigarettes was overpowering.  We kept the room we had.  We knew there weren't any other rooms available and no other hotels we could afford.  We parked in the handicap stall right at our door and hoped we didn't get a ticket for it.  We debated where would be best for Kenai to sleep.  The truck or the room.  We voted for the room and figured she'd bark if she heard someone messing with our truck right outside the door.  She stirred in the night but never freaked out.  The sleep wasn't good and the shower we had been craving didn't turn out as soothing as we had thought due to the worry that we may be getting diseased feet by standing in the tub.  We had hoped for a nice dinner too but nobody would deliver and we didn't want to leave the full parking lot and loose our parking spot at our door.  So I got the laptop out and searched for amazing breakfast places in Seattle.  We found several raving reviews for a place called Peso's Kitchen and Lounge.  So we went to bed and dreamed of food.  


The next morning, the parking lot was quiet.  You wouldn't know how bad it was in the parking lot the night before.  The place looked semi pleasant in the morning light.  We loaded up and headed for the breakfast place called Peso's.  


Peso's is located at 605 Queen Anne Ave in Seattle.  Parking is a little tough so we parked around the block and walked a little ways.  The decor is awesome!  The colors, the lights, the wrought iron just really made this place awesome.  I could see how at night this would be a huge hot spot and it looked like fun.  I ordered the eggs benedict, Darren got something else..huevos ranchos I think.  Let me tell you.... the BEST eggs benedict ever!  Delicious!  and CHEAP!  It was like $8 and awesome.  The service was good too.  We will be going back!  Here's a link to their restaurant:  http://www.pesoskitchen.com/  


After breakfast we went to the Pike Market.  I'd seen this on Real World MTV when I was about 16 and I'd heard neat things about it so I made a point of making sure we checked it out.  Parking was ridiculous!  Seattle is a walking city.  Not a driving city.  Least in this part of it.  The streets are surprisingly steep too.  We ended up parking in a parking garage that charged something like $12 per hour.  Plus the stalls were so tiny we had to take up two therefore it doubled the rate!  It took about 10 minutes just to walk to the market so we had to shop fast.  


I bought a couple handmade journals from a vendor and some beautiful fresh sweet peaches from a local farmer.  Delicious!  We looked for the infamous fish throwing but found out after talking to the journal guy that PETA had been down at the fish market protesting the fish throwing saying it was inhumane to throw the dead fish and that it was disrespectful.  Crazy.  So the fish market had put a hold on throwing fish.  





After Pike Market we went to the Chinese Museum of Ancient Art or something like that.  It was a hot day in Seattle, 90 degrees so the art museum was closing soon due to the heat and lack of air conditioning so we quickly walked through.  It was free so that was nice too.  It was interesting.  The part that amazed me was the little bottles that were hand painted... on the INSIDE.  The artists had used funny little brushes to reach down inside the little bottles and had painted beautiful detailed scenes.  Really cool.  


 
After that we went to the "Conservatory" which was just a short walk from the Museum.  The Blue Angels were flying about that day too making all sorts of obnoxious noise.  The conservatory was filled with beautiful rare flowers and other vegetation and cactus.  I took a few pictures.  After that we slowly walked back to the truck after wondering a bit into some other gardens planted and kept up by locals.  A man was also there painting the scenery of the park.  










After we did all of that...the day was moving on and we needed to get back on the road.  We were headed South from here and tying into the infamous Highway 101 that goes down the West Coast.

Thanks for reading.

Hailey Rose



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sea to Sky Highway

The Sea to Sky Highway is an extension of Highway 99.  This road is a former logging road that connects Vancouver, Squamish and Whistler with Lillooet.  It is completely paved and about 185 miles of beautiful winding road lined with beautiful pure scenery.  Much of the road is squeezed between mountain and sea.  


For Darren and I... this trek of winding road was not long enough. The scenery was amazing.  The town of Whistler reminded me of Park City here in Utah.  A mountain town, rustic log buildings, ski resorts mixed with a very "cosmo" feel.  If we had more time then we would have stopped.  Whistler to Vancouver was busy with construction preparing for the Winter Olympics.  Lots of money was obviously being spent for the 2 weeks of Olympic excitement.  


We found vancouver to be quite confusing.  The traffic was thick and signs seemed to disappear.  We turned here, there, trying to figure what the iPhone was telling us.  We kept looking for the U.S. Border signs...until finally we found one.  Thankfully we were going the right way.  We came onto a freeway on ramp type thing .. accelerated... and then saw the border and suddenly... a motorcycle cop was on us.  Darren was driving.  The scene went like so:


Darren:  "uh oh"
Me:  "what..."
Darren:  "I think that's a cop behind us, I think I was speeding"



Me:  "expletive!... is he really going to pull us over?"


Me:  "expletive!.... he's really pulling us over!!"


Darren:  Hello Sir


Officer:  So what would happen to you if you were in America and you were going 65 mph faster than the speed limit?


Darren:  I'd go to jail


The officer looks over to me in the passenger seat.


Officer:  Do you have any plans tonight?


Me:  ... uhhh... I hope so.


Officer:  Do you have dinner plans?


Me:  ...I'm hoping so.


Officer:  Well make sure he takes you somewhere nice, like Sizzler because I'm not taking him to jail this time.  


...huge sigh!!... lucky Darren.. never gets tickets! ... yet.


Officer:  Im not even going to give you a ticket.  Just watch your speed and travel safe.


Darren/Me:  Thank you.  


Whew!  We then slowly merged back onto the highway and pulled up to the border station.  At this border station there were two U.S. agents for each vehicle.  At all the other stations there had only been one agent for each vehicle and in most cases they stayed in their little box and didn't get out.  But at this one... both agents were out and there were dogs sniffing vehicles.  I suddenly felt like I was at the Mexican border.  Not that I've ever been at the Mexican Border but this is how I envision it.  We handed over our passports.  One border cop had a light and flashed it in the windows, he walked around the back.  I thought to myself, surely they will want to see the dogs paperwork.  Meanwhile the other border cop was interrogating us.  


Border Cop:  Where you going?  



Darren:  Home


Cop:  Where's home?


Darren:  Utah


Cop:  Where you coming from? 


Darren:  Well.. 2 days ago it was Alaska.  We are just driving back down.


Cop:  Did you buy anything in Canada?  


Darren:  Yes.
The cop is suddenly interested...like..ohh..got a live one here..


Cop:  What did you buy?


Darren:  Gas
Darren is such a smart ass... lol... but really, if you said no you didn't buy anything.. then that'd be a lie.  You know where the cop is going with the question.  Which is if you did buy something other than gas.. there's duty tax that could be owed before crossing back into the states.


The second cop who had been walking around the truck looking inside was now standing next to the cop who was asking us all the questions.  He got a nod from the second cop, handed us our passports and told us to have a nice trip.


They didn't even ask about the dog.  Just seemed like after all the literature I had read about crossing the borders, what to expect, what they request for paperwork, blah blah blah.. this intimidating border station would for sure have wanted to see paperwork on the dog.  I mean, who knows where I could have picked that dog up from.  What if I had drugs stitched into her belly or something.  It all just seems to be smoking mirrors.  I'm glad we weren't harassed further but then again...they wouldn't have been able to get us on anything except for having expired insurance cards.  oops!  Just the cards were expired, not the actual insurance.  :) A phone call would have clarified that but that would have been the only thing that could have stalled us.  The funny part is I was pretty freaked out once I'd discovered our expired insurance cards and even more freaked out when I read that Canada has higher insurance requirements than the U.S. But I was so consumed with making sure the dog had her paperwork...that I didn't check the insurance cards which in the end... it pretty much made no difference as we were never asked.  We were only asked to show the dogs paperwork when entering BACK into Canada after Skagway only because I told the guy I had a dog on.  Which I didn't even have to tell him.  He had only asked if I had anyone else traveling with us.  Which would be interpreted to another human really, not a dog.  I'm analyzing way to much.  


Anyway... here's some pictures of the journey down the Sea to Sky Highway.  Enjoy.




Thanks for reading. 


Hailey

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cassiar Highway Canada

The Cassiar Highway runs from the Yellowhead Highway (just west of Watson Lake which is where the sign forest is, remember the pictures on our way up?) to Kitwanga Canada where it ties back into the Alaska Highway.  According to the map, this stretch of road is 450 miles.  It felt like a forgotten road.

The speed limit signs said we could go about 50 mph so that's what I attempted to do.  Darren was sleeping but quickly woke up when I about drove us off the road.  It was really dark and the road twisted and turned with no warning.  So I slowed it down.

Just as Darren was falling asleep again I came to a screeching halt.. I could see large shadows right along the side of the road.  First I thought it was a bear but then with a closer look we discovered it was two buffalo bedded down on the shoulder of the road.  Darren thought this was cool.  He rolled down his window and stuck his head out to get a closer look.  We were maybe 8 feet away from the beasts.  Within a few seconds though, one buffalo decided we were a bit too close and rose to his feet.  His head was almost to the top of our truck and by now he was about 6 feet away.  You could almost reach out and pet him.  I suddenly got a cold chill down my spine and common sense kicked in.. "This beast of a buffalo ... should he decide he didn't like Darren hanging out the window pointing at him, ram into the side of my truck... he'd be in the cab with us, we'd be injured, the truck would probably be a mess and unable to drive much further...  Hell No!"  I put that truck into "drive" and pulled away.  It was amazing to be that close to the beasts, a moment we will never forget.


I drove down the dark, winding, ill repaired road for a couple hours and was getting sleepy.  I found a good wide spot to pull over.  We hadn't passed a single vehicle.  It really felt like we were all alone out here.  Darren let Kenai out for a run, the mosquitos descended upon him.  You could hear them humming through the window outside.  You could see the swarm at the windows.  Darren did the famous run around the truck waving his arms like a crazy man and leaped back inside.  About 20 mosquitos made it inside with us.  We pulled the blankets up over our heads and fell asleep to the sound of buzzing mosquitos in our ears.  We killed what we could but there always seemed to be another one.  A few hours later we both woke to more buzzing and realized the mosquitos had found the little hold in our back window and were infiltrating the cab.  We shoved some tissue in it, killed some more mosquitos and fell back asleep.


The sun was up when we woke.  We got more sleep than we had planned.  The hum of mosquitos was still there and you could still see them at the windows just dying for some fresh blood.  Hungry buggers!  We probably killed another 30 or so mosquitos, all filled with blood.  We let the dog out for a bit then we both did the flailing arm dance and jumped back in the truck and hit the road.  I heard one vehicle pass in the night and that was it.  The scenery was everything we expected.  Beautiful.  Being this was a less traveled road than the one we originally came up, the trees and brush were encroaching the edges of the asphalt.  This made it more beautiful but more dangerous too as you wouldn't have as much time to brake should something emerge from the brush line.

We passed one or two camping sites that seemed to still be in business and their prices were much higher for gas than anywhere else.  Made sense though.  We were out in the boonies.  We saw a few RV's go by and some motorcycles.  This was the quietest trek through our entire journey.  It was really neat to be out in the middle of nowhere.  No cell phone service, ... nothing to bother us but the mosquitos.

We rolled into Kitwanga on fumes.  We weren't sure where a gas station would be.  The town was about 5 miles off the main road.  The low fuel light had been on for about the last 60 miles.  Each second had the feeling of.. "any second we are going to run out of gas and we have no idea how far the gas station is."  Our odometer indicated we had gone over 400 miles on that tank of gas.  We had run out once before but that drive had been more downhill whereas this drive had a lot of mountain to pull through so we weren't sure how far we could go.  We pulled into this town because we figured there had to be gas here as there wasn't any gas before this town to speak of.  Sure enough, after a few minutes we located a gas station.  We had gone 409.2 miles on this tank of gas.  Phew!  I even took a picture.  


As we came into Kitwanga I noticed a spot to pull off for a trail.  After we fueled we went back to investigate the trail that called to us.

Standing at the top, it looked like if you just ran for it you might be able to fly off the edge and soar around or that you could dive off the edge like a diving board.


The wooden steps went on and on.  I should have counted the steps.  It was probably like going up 5 flights of stairs or something.  It was neat.

The wooden steps led to a trail through tall grass and past wild Daisies to a river.  Kenai came with us to explore.  Kenai loves water and thought it was just fantastic to stop and play in the river.  We threw sticks and she'd lunge after them.  She had a grand time.  It was very beautiful.



After playing in the water we headed back to the truck.  We decided to play a game with Kenai on the way up the steps.  She was so full of energy we figured it would be fun for one of us to go to the top and the other stay at the bottom and call Kenai back and forth.  She charged up and down the steps several times over until she understood what we were doing and she didn't seem very amused.  It burned up some energy for her, that's for sure.

After we left Kitwanga we headed for the next stretch of road which would take us down pass the towns of 100 Mile House, 70 Mile House and Clinton.  Before we reached Cache Creek we decided to take the right turn and head for Lillooet and Whistler and then into Vancouver.  This route was called the "Sea to Sky Highway."  And what a beautiful drive that would be.

Thanks for reading.

Hailey Rose

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lunch In Skagway Alaska

Skagway emerged from the mist like a lost city on an emerald planet.  As we steamed in on the ferry we could see the massive cruise ships rise out of the ocean like giant sea monsters towering over the little seemingly dainty wooden docks.

Skagway was incorporate June 28, 1900 as the first-class city in the Territory of Alaska and was known as the "Gateway to the Klondike."  Skagway was also a setting for Jack London's book, The Call of the Wild.

The name Skagway is the Tlingit word meaning "A windy place with white caps on the water."

In 1896 Gold was found in the Klondike region of Canada's Yukon Territory thus the name, "Gateway to the Klondike."  Click here to read more about Skagway Alaska.  It's actually quite fascinating.

We were finally allowed down to the car deck and waited our turn to pull our trustworthy truck from the belly of the giant.  It was nice to get off the ferry.  I was relieved we didn't need to be on it any longer.  I wanted the wide open road with no people around. I was already craving it.  We were anxious to get on the road.

We took a couple hours to walk the boat harbor.  This harbor and town was much larger than Haines and people were everywhere.  I suppose with four giant cruise ships in there would stand to be a lot of people about.  The boat harbor boasted a beautiful sail boat yacht and another large beautiful yacht.  It reminded me of something some foreign royalty may be on.  A stout black man stood at the stern of the ship like a body guard.  My curiosity grew and  I fantasized what the ship may be like on the inside.  Who were these people?  The harbor was also filled with many little fish boats, skiffs and charter boats.

After we walked the harbor we decided fish and chips sounded good so we went to the Skagway Fish and Chip Co. restaurant that overlooked the harbor.  From our table inside we could watch all the different people walking to and from the cruise ship on our side of the little bay.  Darren and I both came to the conclusion that cruise ships probably wouldn't be our thing.  I think we had both learned that we were more of a recluse type.  We craved the open, vast emptiness of the wild roads we knew waited ahead.  Just us and our dog and our surprisingly trustworthy truck.  The fish and chips were the best ever.  The batter was almost like a light bread rather than a crust.  The Halibut was fresh and it all just melted in your mouth.  The Skagway Fish Co. is highly recommended by us.  It boasted a lively environment, good decor and friendly staff with the best fish and chips one could ever dream of.  Put it on your list.  Skagway Fish Co. in Skagway Alaska.  A place to go before you die.

Time was ticking and we had to get going.  As we drove out of town we discovered even more people and hustle and bustle about.  There were people everywhere on the streets.  We slowly rolled through. The buildings were all old time looking buildings.  Fur shops, jewelry shops, art shops lined the streets and all looked very intriguing.  The town looked like how you would think it to look back in the early 1900's during the gold rush.  The buildings all very original, all very old west looking.  You could envision the road we drove on to be a muddy street with horses and carriages driving through.  How I would have like to have stopped and wandered about the streets of Skagway but time was not on our side now.  I made a mental note to make sure to return to this town one day and visit all that I could.

We reached the edge of town and continued on.  The mist and fog were thick here too.  The road began to climb and we were headed straight into the foggy mountains towards the Canadian Border.  At least it was light outside unlike when we were coming into Haines the night before.  It was mystical.  It felt like you were in the clouds.  Visibility was awful.  You could only see maybe 20 feet in front of you.  The sunlight filtered through the fog here and there.  For all you could see you were driving on a road to heaven.  You couldn't see anything on your sides as I assume we were driving along the top ridge of a mountain.  There was just emptiness on both sides.  It felt like a dream.

The fog slowed us down incredibly.  The 20 some mile trek to the Canadian Border took well over an hour.  We did stop along the way to let Kenai out for a drink.  We ran around a bit in some boulders in the misty fog for a few minutes and then packed her back in and continued on.

Suddenly, heaven emerged.  We came out of the fog and into a beautiful fairy tale land of crisp pure air, lakes, flowers and magnificent rock art.  It was so perfect it looked how I would think heaven should be.  My breath was lost along with words.  My jaw was dropped and all I could do was gaze into the beauty of this new land we'd just come to.  Within minutes of arriving in this to beautiful to be true setting we arrived at the Canadian Border, yet again.  It seemed obvious there was no internet or bar code scanners or even computers at this small customs building.  The man was very nice, straight to the point and asked all the same questions as the past border patrol agents had.  We passed through and my gawking expression out the window continued.  Take a moment to look at these pictures.  We stopped along the way to take some photos.  The air was so pure and crisp.  It was invigorating yet calming all in one.  The water looked inviting but cold.  It was all just amazing.

Our journey continued towards Watson Lake.  This time though we were going to go home a different way yet again.  We had already spiced the trip up by going to Haines and taking a ferry to Skagway.  We had to get to the road we'd been on before again but we wouldn't stay on it long.  About 15 miles before Watson Lake there was a turn off to the Cassiar Highway.  The Cassiar was about 100 miles shorter than the way we had come up but the road was narrower with more turns and you had to travel at a slower speed.  We fueled up at the turn off at a little gas station with cabins.  The mosquitos descended up on us as soon as we opened the truck door.  Darren stood there doing the mosquito dance while trying to fuel the truck.  I retreated and stayed inside the truck once I saw the ambush coming.  Before getting in the truck Darren ran around the truck flailing his arms all about to throw the hive of mosquitos off his trail before he quickly hoped in the truck.  A few mosquitos still made their way in but the majority had been left hungry outside.

By this time it was getting late.  It must have been around 8 p.m.  Darren hadn't slept since the night before along the road just before Haines and a little nap before getting on the ferry.  It was my turn to drive.  We made the turn for the Cassiar Highway not knowing how far we could get on this tank of gas, not knowing if there'd by anyone or anything along the way.  All we knew is that it was the beginning of another great adventure.  Just the three of us.  Darren, Kenai and I in the middle of the wilderness, all by ourselves.  And we were excited about it.

Thanks as always for reading.

hailey rose
 

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A morning in Haines Alaska

It's amazing how well you can sleep when you're just dog tired.  We were somewhere between the U.S./Canadian Border and Haines Alaska. We'd finally made it back in and had just enjoyed a short nap of only a couple hours.  Even though it was short, it felt great.  It was already getting light outside.  It was roughly 4:30 a.m. and I had a haunch that the ferry office would open at five or six.  We continued on for about another 10 miles when suddenly the trusty truck reminded us that she too was tired but most of all, hungry.  She began sputtering.  The truck was running out of gas.  We were still at least 20 or 30 miles from town.  Darren coasted a ways down the hill we were already headed down to a spot to pull off.  Darren got out, poured our spare 2 gallon gas can in and we were back on the road.  The fuel Darren had poured in was from our local grocery store Harmons here in Utah.  We had driven all the way up to Homer and never needed it.  Good thing we had it.  


We pulled into the quiet and sleepy town of Haines Alaska, population 2,300 and to the first gas station we came upon.  Surprisingly this station was 24 hours at the pump.  We filled our tank and headed for the Ferry Station.  The Ferry Station was way down on one end of town.  Cell phone service was good right in town but once we were at the Ferry Station, the service got very spotty and non-existent.  


It was a tiny Ferry Station but not any smaller than the one in Homer.  Actually I think it was bigger than Homers.  The parking lot was empty.  Nobody was in sight.  The lights were all off, the rain was still misting down and it was about 5 a.m.  We pulled right up to the door and Darren jumped out, open at 6 a.m. the sign read.  We were an hour early.  What to do now?  It was a good 10 minute drive back to town if you factored in the construction we had to go through.  We drove down the road a little further, came back to the station and then decided to sleep lightly until someone showed up.  Being that we had a vehicle, we figured space would fill up very quickly on the ferry.  Most of the ferries only carry about 35 vehicles so we were anxious to be the first one in the office to get that last spot if there were any left.  We dozed a little bit waking up every 5 minutes or to any sound of a vehicle passing by.  Finally, an old beat up Subaru pulled in and a woman got out and went into the station.  It was 10 minutes till 6 a.m.  We waited a little longer until finally she came to the door and unlocked it.  Darren jumped out to inquire about a schedule and rates.  He came back quickly and requested I join him inside.  


There were two women inside.  Both looked miserable and unhappy.  Darren and I are both very up-beat people and enjoy being optimistic rather than pessimistic and we don't like to be around people who are the opposite as misery and depression can be contagious.  The woman seemed bored by our questions.  Her answers were short with no additional information or personality.  She solemnly informed us that there was room on the ferry leaving the next morning to Bellingham, that it would take 5 days to get there and the price would be roughly $1600 for the two of us and a truck.  OUCH!  Sixteen hundred dollars?  That was as much as it was going to cost us round trip to drive from Utah to Alaska and back.  We were thinking it to be about half of that, and for half we were ready to jump aboard. We asked if there would be stops along the way, where at and how much time we'd have if we could get off and check the towns out but she seemed annoyed at the whole question and disinterested to look the information up.  Finally, this poor miserable woman suggested perhaps we should take a ferry up to Skagway Alaska.  That way, she explained, we wouldn't have to drive back the same road we'd just come down.  It only took 1 hour by ferry and it would cost $100 for the two of us and the truck.  One hundred dollars was more than the gas would have cost but depending on fog it would have taken us 3-5 hours to drive.  Darren had never been on a ferry before.  I had taken a ferry before from Homer to Kodiak and from Whittier to Cordova so I knew what to expect.  I always enjoyed going on the ferry and thought Darren may too.  We decided to book the ticket.  We were told to be back to the station no later than 11 a.m.  We paid the woman and left.  


Now being about 6:30 a.m. we hoped to find a good little restaurant to eat at.  We hadn't eaten anything except for macaroon cookies, potato chips and strange things my family had packed for us so to keep them from going to waste at the cabin through the winter so breakfast sounded delightful.  We drove back through the construction and into the tiny town of Haines.  The iPhone didn't help much at all in locating any restaurants and I wondered if people in Haines even knew what an iPhone was.   After driving around the small dreary town we decided on the bar/restaurant overlooking the teeny tiny harbor.  I was disappointed in the little harbor.  When I thought of Haines, I thought lively fishing village.  I was wrong, way wrong.  There couldn't have been more than twenty boats in the little harbor.  It was like, the party had happened...but the people never came.  It felt empty.  We found a spot to park in the small parking lot.  There was some construction going on in the parking lot and Kenai didn't like the four or five men moving about so she kept barking at them making the whole back of the truck shake back and forth.  We walked inside the little restaurant.  The bar was on one end and the restaurant on the other.  The restaurant side had lots of windows looking out.  Looking at the construction of the building, you could see it had been added onto, and added onto.  A nice thin lady with a shoddy blondish dye job and harsh liquid eyeliner welcomed us pleasantly.  Between the strange man sweeping the gas station parking lot and the ferry lady we couldn't say the people of Haines were very friendly, outgoing or exuding personality.  This lady at least had some personality, although she too seemed sad.  So far, Haines was just depressing.  Between the people, the rain and lack of excitement I could see how one could become sad.  We sat in the furthest corner of the restaurant from the kitchen but closest to the harbor.  Darren and I like boats and this was the reason we chose this place to eat, was to look out over the quiet, boring harbor of Haines.  We reviewed our menus, the nice lady gave us water.  You'd think being in a state with lots of pristine water everywhere that the water you'd be served would have a great amazing taste but it does not.  It tastes heavily of chlorine.  A major disappointment if you ask me.  The place was dated.  The tables, chairs, all of it, had to be the cheapest crap you could find in 1990.  The chairs were brown square metal frame, the tables were faux wood with the look and feel of a school cafeteria.  The place needed an overhaul big time.  I kept my thoughts to myself and kept my fingers crossed that the food would be exceptional.  Darren ordered the Breakfast Burritos.  He asked the lady what she thought and she said she'd order them because they were "different."  Darren eats breakfast burritos all the time here in Utah so her reasoning for choosing it seemed funny to us. I ordered the Eggs Benedict, eggs poached hard please.  Chef Gordon Ramsey would slap my face and call me an effing idiot with no palate for ordering my eggs poached hard but I don't like jiggly eggs.  I have a hard time with eggs as it is.  We ordered some coffee as well but quickly wished we hadn't as soon as we'd tasted it.  I've had bad coffee but this coffee took the cake.  It was watered down, I wondered if they'd been using the same coffee grounds for the last month and the worse part was the coffee tasted like they'd burned the water somehow.  Oh lord it was awful!!  We poured cream in, added sugar, tested, poured more cream, more sugar, tested, yuck.  Oh goodness it was awful.  The sweet lady offered us more and Darren and I had to try hard not to run out of the place in an effort to stay away from the coffee.  

The nice lady, with her black liquid liner doe eyes was trying hard to read our expressions and we tried to graciously decline the offer of more coffee.  As we waited for our meal I inspected the place some more and was disgusted to find several dead flies starring into space next to me on the window sill.  Oh my!  How long had it been since they'd just wiped down the window sills in this place.  I began to wonder just what we'd gotten ourselves into.  Did this place ever have a crowd?  I wondered what my favorite reality chef, Gordon Ramsey would say if he saw this place.  I figured the lady serving us had to be the owner or have a large share or interest in this place.  She looked tired, bored and depressed.  She'd lost interest in the whole restaurant idea by the looks of it.  Poor thing.  I thought to myself, wonder if the bar is the thing that keeps the doors open here.  I didn't want to stay in Haines any longer than necessary and since we were leaving in a few hours I wouldn't get the chance to see what bar life was like here.  Thank goodness.  The meals came out.  More coffee was offered and we declined again.  I think she was confused as to why we were suddenly so anti-coffee and I wasn't about to tell her unless she specifically asked as she really looked like she was in a fragile state of sadness and depression, I didn't want to add to it more by telling her that her coffee is crap and to maybe give up the whole idea of ever making coffee again.  The burritos looked simple and to the point and so did the eggs benedict.  I quickly checked my eggs, they were good.  Phew! Gold star for the cook back there.  We dug in.  Darren scarfed his meal as usual and I made my way through mine.  It was all edible. It tasted good, good enough to eat all of it but it was nothing to write home about.  We thanked the lady, paid and left.  


It was a relief to get out of the depressing restaurant and out into the refreshing ocean air and misty rain.  We decided to walk the harbor.  Things were livening up slightly.  A few people were down at the harbor on their boats.  We were stopped by an older man and younger woman on a boat.  They started up a conversation with us and we quickly found out why they were so friendly.  Turns out a cruise ship was on it's way in that morning and they were looking for people to take out on their boat.  The man showed us the pictures he had at the ready and boasted of the great catches they'd gotten on past trips.  Clearly, they were fishing for more customers.  We declined and the conversation ended abruptly.  It was very clear that they were only friendly if you had money to spend.  


It didn't take long to walk the harbor.  We still had a couple hours so we decided to pick up some bottled water at the grocery store in town.  There were two grocery stores apparently but with no parking on the street.  We chose IGA and parked on the side street where there was a covered stairway that led straight up to the the actual store itself.  It was odd and decrepit feeling.  Once inside the store, it struck me even more odd as to why people even live in this town.  The lighting was poor, the florescent lights flickered.  The greens looked wilted, the apples looked mealy.  Everything was expensive and they had only a couple six packs of water bottles.  We bought water and some candy bars.  The main reason we bought water was to give it to Kenai.  We weren't sure what our water options would be on the ferry or when we got off in Skagway so we wanted to be sure to have something for her to drink just in case.  When we got back to the truck, I looked back at the odd stairway and the ugly building it led to and tried to envision it during winter.  Ugh!  It had to be awful.  


After that we decided to check out some little shops that we'd seen earlier in the morning.  One place we stopped at was a vintage shop.  The man greeted us, as though almost excited we'd stopped by.  This was the first person who, although helpful, was not so depressing and not so "i'll talk to you if you spend money" like the guy on the boat down in the harbor.  He was lean and had hair long hair past his ears.  His little shop was filled with vintage stuff.  Everything you could think of but all was priced at retail prices.  I looked for that special thing that I couldn't live without but found none.  He informed us of the lady next door and pleasantly wished us well on our journey.  I actually felt kind of bad for not buying something in his shop as he seemed so sincere and was so pleasant.  The lady next door was nice, but reserved.  She didn't seem so depressed as some but she also didn't seem interested in having us in her shop, it almost felt more like she was annoyed we were in her shop.  But it was in her shop filled with all sorts of vintage goods, native-made goods and other little things that I found something I had to have.  A little eskimo doll, made by an Alaskan.  This little doll was made of wood and wore a neatly made little leather outfit with a hood over the head trimmed with overpowering beaver fur.  This little doll looked just like a little eskimo and it was oh so cute!  I had to have it, so I bought it.  I asked this woman how business was.  She said it was much slower this year.  I mentioned I'd seen many For Sale signs on homes and she said she didn't know of any home that had sold in the last year.  Talk about depressing.    


Our next stop was to a shop that had great curb appeal but lacked everything I hoped it would have inside. It was called the Lily or the Iris or something.  It had a little white picket fence, a beautifully kept garden and a lovely little path leading up to the door.  Turns out, this shop was really a converted front porch.  It was about 10 feet wide and 25 feet long.  That was it and the rest was a lived in house that had nothing for sale.  A tall, skinny eccentric man with dark hair, plaid shirt and khaki docker trousers greeted us.  This man was overwhelming and had an obnoxious maniacal laugh that drove me nuts.  He would say something... pause a good 5 seconds, one .... two .... three .... four ... five and then laugh this off the wall shrill maniacal laugh.  It was nice to finally get out of that place.  I wondered if maybe he took people into his house and if those people were ever seen again.  There was some other dock on this end of town.  Apparently it was the cruise ship dock and the ship had arrived.  People were beginning to filter off the ship and down the wooden dock.  Time for us to go.  We didn't want to get caught in the midst of tourists gone amuck so we then drove around some dirt roads up on the hill side and looked at homes.  There were some nice homes with some nice views but Darren and I knew we'd never plan to come back to this town.  It was just interesting to look around.  
Time was moving slowly.  We headed back to the ferry station.  We still had at least an hour before we were suppose to be there so we parked our truck at the beginning of the row number we were to be in and slept.  


We woke to the loud "bang bang" of a hand smacking the hood of our truck and some guy in a reflective vest yelling.  It was time to drive the truck onto the ferry.  We sat our seats up and followed the directions we were given.  We pulled into the belly of the Columbia ferry.  Parked, reassured Kenai we'd be back soon and went up the stairs to check out the ferry.  You cannot stay in the vehicle deck.  On long ferry rides they allow you to access the car deck every couple of hours.  Dogs/pets are not allowed outside of the vehicle deck.  Even though I've always enjoyed my trips on the ferry, i've always found them to be drity and grungy feeling.  The crew on board look suspicious and untrustworthy as do most of the people traveling aboard.  You worry about your car, you worry about your purse or bags if you should fall asleep.  It is not a relaxing trip, you are constantly looking over your shoulder and keeping your space between yourself and others.  It was a good little trip over to Skagway.  We passed some beautiful waterfalls raging down the mountainsides into the ocean.  There were some birds that people lunged to their feet to take pictures of but other than that it was pretty quiet and we were left alone.  An hour was plenty of time.  Darren quickly decided he was glad the price was too much and that we hadn't opted to take the ferry to Bellingham. I felt the same way.  We would get bored, surely and poor Kenai would only get to see us every couple of hours for 15 minutes before being cooped back up.  It was better this way.  One hour was perfect to explore the areas we were allowed to explore of the ship, look at the food options and know we didn't want any and decide driving was the best.  Then finally Skagway began to emerge from the mist.  






Thanks for reading.  Our time in Skagway Alaska is next.


Hailey Rose