Our first day we took the ferry from Juneau to Haines arriving in Haines at 10:30 a.m. A shuttle from the Captain's Choice
Motel  took us to that motel to pick up our rental vehicle. There we anxiously jumped into our Subaru and drove up the road
along the Chilkat River. Before very long, we started to see eagles and then more and more and more eagles sitting in the

Not too long before mile 19, we pulled the car over to look down at the river. There we had our first close encounter with an
eagle who was taking a bath. He seemed oblivious to our presence as he kept bathing and bathing and savoring the
After about ten minutes of vigorous bathing, the eagle paused to start the drying process.
We had been following the weather forecast for Haines and
rain had been in the forecast on a daily basis. So we were
delighted to arrive on a beautiful sunshiny day. The
mountains stood up boldly above the Chilkat Valley. The
valley is glacially carved and the river contains lots of flats
created by the glacial moraine. The eagles located
themselves along these flats in the trees and on the banks
of the river.
Our First Two Days in Haines
November 2010
Keep in mind that our days were short. Darkness
came at 4 p.m., and the first glimmer of light did not
occur until after 7 a.m. At the end of our first short half
day we were jazzed by what we had experienced.

The semi-sunny weather continued for day two.

How can you tell when an eagle is ready to fly?
The eagle often takes a dump as seen on the

And when you see an eagle fly on the Chilkat, there is
a good chance he has seen another eagle that he
wants to challenge for a fish.
From the ground, we watched an eagle in a tree finish off a salmon.
And on our first day we observed for our first time the rough sport of stealing food.
On day 2, we were again impressed by
how close we got to the eagles.
And those talons! We would certainly not want to mess with them.