I'm Holly Jo, I was the "Gold Girl" tour guide the last 3 years at Porcupine Creek in Haines, AK. Two years at John & Parker Schnabel's Big Nugget Gold Mine and one year at Dakota Fred's Porcupine Creek Gold Mine. Not sure what I will be doing this year as the Gold tours at Porcupine Creek are not offered any more...and I kinda got fired.

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

First Cruise Ship Day in Haines Alaska

Tourism Director, Tanya Carlson - Mayor Jan Hill - Tour Operator, Adam Patterson
Enjoying the new look of Haines as they wait to greet Cruise Ship guests
We did it! The first Cruise Ship Day in Haines was a big success.  Southeast Roadbuilders, who were constructing our new Bus Parking Lot and Restrooms worked their little hearts out till 2am on Cruise Ship day and completed a large majority of it.  It is pretty amazing what people can do under pressure.  It will be a great addition to Haines.  We are steadily giving this pretty little town a much needed face lift.  
Don't get me wrong, the natural Haines doesn't need any help at being beautiful.  It is the folks who live here that need to work hard at making our...
man made areas worthy of residing in such an awesome place.  They say, "If you build it they will come". So come on tourist, come try out our 2 million dollar restrooms!  I did. They are great; clean, classy and real uptown.  
We even have a bench for the men to sit on while
 waiting for their women.


Lots of room for the buses 
We just have the curb to finish.
Another highlight of the day was when I got to follow the wonderfully artistic Jen Reid on a tour called "Haines Off the Beaten Path".   This is another unique tour offered at Rainbow Glacier Adventures, the company I work for.
Jen Reid showing us how to enjoy every moment
I have lived here 3 years and was glued to my seat while hearing Jen describe a side of Haines I had not seen before.  She has lived here approximately 30 years and has raised 2 children in an area of Haines that didn't have electricity until about 10 years ago. Outhouses are common. For water people have wells, and they all use natural springs too.  Some have to kayak or canoe to their homes, or wait for the tide to go out so they can walk across Mud Bay to their dwelling.  The tight-nit community of artists live 7 miles outside of downtown Haines, but it might as well be 7,000 miles with how different their subsistence, earthy, productive, artistic life style is from my own two bedroom apartment, frozen foods and satellite life.  
John Svenson came out to meet us at Extreme Dreams Art Gallery


Jen inviting us in the Extreme Dreams Art Gallery
Jen took us to the Extreme Dreams Fine Art Gallery at the edge of Chilkat State Park where we met Owner and Artist John Svenson.  John is an extraordinary artist with many pallets to choose from, like; glass, painting, beads, vessel forms and his wife Sharon creates textiles and mosaic mirrors.  Jen creates beautiful jewelry that is also on display at the gallery




Jen Reid's artistic, beautiful jewelry


John Svenson and Jen Reid tell guests the juicy secrets of Haines


John and Jen delighted us with stories of the local artists and how they live.  They have potlucks and bon fires on a regular basis. They have a community garden and share their "catch of the day" with each other when crab potting, fishing, and netting.  They all have many talents and skills.  Jen credited that from living without televisions.  I have always wanted the inside scoop to this world so close and yet so far away from my own.  I felt my creative juices flowing just by being around them.  




John Svenson's Art Studio - an amazingly cool place to create


Artist's are the spice of Haines.... and even a place as beautiful as Haines can be enhanced with a little spice. 


The community garden at the Fairgrounds which we visited

We also visited Dave Pahl of the Hammer Museum.
He is as interesting and unique as his museum
This hammer saved his dog from drowning in
his car when his car sunk into the Lynn Canal.
You have to hear him tell the story.

Haines Alaska is full of characters that are as beautiful and unique as the landscape!

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