The Grand Princess made a unplanned visit into Haines on August 13th, 2013 because their dock slip in Skagway was occupied by someone else. We locals were delighted to get the extra business boost since the season is quickly coming to an end and many jobs will be on hold till May 2014.
Another sign that summer is ending is when our summer interns fly the coop. Hammer museum intern, Taylor Joy left two weeks ago leaving Michelle to finish her last month in Haines all on her own. Don't worry Michelle, we tour guides will help you.
Rainbow Glacier Adventures very own photo intern, Brooke Foreman, has left our little tour guide family for the south. She wrote a final blog that highlights her summer in Haines, appropriately with great photos.
The surprise visit with our City Mayor happened when I had taken a tour group to John & Sharon's Extreme Dreams Art Gallery. We stopped at the local's watering hole on the way back from the 5 mile Mud Bay Road trip.
This lucky group got to drink the cold, sweet, naturally purified mountain water I call the "Fountain of Youth" and while we were there our Town Mayor stopped to fill her water bottle before she went to preside over an Assembly Meeting for the Borough of Haines, Alaska. The guests thought it was a unique encounter to meet her since most of them live in places where they don't normally rub shoulders with their government leaders.... oh and they loved our delicious water too.
I had a spectacular visit from a sweet Texas peanut farming couple, The Colemans, at the end of August. They had come on my Gold Rush to Porcupine tour last summer and we visited Parker Schnabel's Big Nugget Mine during the month of August 2012.
This year they came back to Haines, Alaska just hang out with me! WOW ~ I felt so honored....and a little stressed that I would not know how to impress them. What would I do with them? How could I top our visit to the gold mines of Porcupine Creek where we all left a little richer with Gold?!
I decided to take them to the prettiest place in Haines (in my opinion), Chilkoot Lake. I showed them where Joe & I married exactly 3 years ago on the side of the Chilkoot River with bears, eagles, and ravens at our wedding....along with mosquitos, fisherman, and spawning salmon too. It was a true Alaskan wedding.
When we drove through downtown Haines we noticed Dakota Fred's car at the local pub, Fogcutter. I asked Karen & Tommy if they wanted to meet him since they were fans of Discovery Channel's TV show Gold Rush. They said, "Sure!" When we got into the bar it was packed with locals. I had never seen the bar so full of people at 5 in the afternoon. What was going on? We found Dakota Fred and he told us.
Fogcutter Bar was holding a gun lottery. 20 guns to be exact. You had to purchase a $20 ticket of each of the 20 gun drawings you wanted to win. If you won you got to pick out the type of gun you wanted. My gal friend, Angie had a winning lottery ticket and she picked a rifle....that's a nice bear gun.
"Hey, there is John Schnabel!",
"Pull Over, Pull Over, Pull Over!",
"Wow ~ You weren't kidding!",
the voices of my guests cried.
"He isn't a hard core drinker folks," I explain as I pulled over the van,
"the "old-timers" go there to have coffee and conversation in the mornings."
I don't think they heard me as a bleary-eyed-star-gaze had come over all of them and they were piling out of the van in hot pursuit of John.
So right there on Main Street I presented John with the gifts and told him about this big fan of his, James from Ohio. James gave John a cup and the hoodie was for Parker. John was pleased at the kind gesture and said he would give the hoodie to Parker when he returns from the Yukon.
Out at Porcupine Creek it appears the Big Nugget Mine is closed up for the season. The leaves on the ground prove we are in our one month of Fall. The mountains have almost lost all their snow.
It has been a wonderful summer getting to know the Dakota Boys & Melody. It has also been a real pleasure seeing Dakota Fred's assistant Jen Sheets and the film crew....all great people and Haines will miss them (especially me). I sure hope they all come back next summer......but we never know.
Now, gold tours are not over just yet. We still have a few days left so if you are in town, come out with me to Porcupine Creek and be our last guest for 2013.