Alaska update #3: Halibut Cove

By August 10, 2013 No Comments

The last few days I had in Alaska were pretty awesome, and getting to go to Halibut Cove was such a cool experience! It felt surreal because it was a 24 hour adventure, and “normal” people don’t just fly in to the cabin for a night and zip off the next day, but I had a red-eye flight out of Alaska I had to make the next day. Or so I thought (I’ll explain this later).

After the girls trip to Holly’s cabin in Hope ended, I had a few more days till my flight to Canada to see my family. Don Haering was kind enough to invite me to his family’s cabin in Halibut Cove, across from Homer. His friend Austin has a little Husky airplane and has logged thousands of hours in it, so when he offered to fly me in, I jumped at the chance! I have to admit, I was a little nervous, but once we got going I felt really safe. Except when he let me try flying the plane…I’m not the world’s greatest pilot. Thank goodness for beginner’s luck, so I didn’t bring the whole thing down!

Flying over a glacier

Flying over a glacier

This was easily the most exciting and most scenic flight I’ve ever been on in my entire life! Delta’s generous offer of peanuts (or pretzels) doesn’t have a thing on flying in Austin’s plane. He’d swoop down near the trees and ocean and we saw a Moose, and a couple sea otters. The absolute best part was when we flew over a glacier and could see the blue ice and all the crevasses. Glacial blue is quickly becoming one of my favorite colors!

Austin flying the plane

Austin flying the plane

Flying over a glacial lake

Flying over a glacial lake

I may have been just a little excited about flying

I may have been just a little excited about flying

We landed on the beach right across from Don’s cabin, and he came over in the boat to pick us up. I was even allowed to drive the boat 🙂 It was a short trip across the bay to the cabin, which was up high on stilts because the tides are crazy, and fast too! We had a bonfire going that night, and within an hour the tide came up and we had to move the whole thing 5 feet up the beach.

Don and I in the boat

Don and I in the boat (photo from Don)

We hopped into some sea kayaks and took a trip around the island. It was really cool to see Halibut Cove, with the little coffee shop and their famous restaurant all up high on stilts with boardwalks connecting everything. I couldn’t help thinking that it looked a whole lot like the little town from the movie “The Proposal”. I know, I know…you’re not supposed to compare real places with Sandra Bullock movie sets. But it really looked like that – it was so cute, one of those places where time moves a little bit slower. I really liked it.

Kayaking round the island

Kayaking round the island (photo from Don)

We also went “fishing”…but we weren’t very dedicated and didn’t catch anything, and that was just fine with us.

We found a momma and baby sea otter! But it's a little hard to see in this picture

We found a momma and baby sea otter! But it’s a little hard to see in this picture (photo from Don)

Trying to get a better look at the otters

Trying to get a better look at the otters (photo from Don)

After a nice bonfire we did some nighttime swimming in the rain – which actually made the water feel slightly less then freezing! Since it’s always easier to just jump in instead of wading, we took the boat out and jumped off. That’s something I really enjoy; jumping into water. Even if it’s cold.

A huge field of fluff (photo from Don)

Austin and I in a monstrously huge field of fluff (photo from Don)

The next day we hiked over to a glacial lake, where these gigantic chunks of ice where being pushed around in the wind. It looked so cool, and the water was so cold that even the small ice bits hadn’t melted. Because the glacial ice was compressed so much that there were no air bubbles, it looked so pure and it was like holding molded water in my hands!

Glacial ice (photo from Don)

Glacial ice (photo from Don)

I owe a huge thank you to both Don and Austin for making this adventure happen – it was such a fun way to see more of Alaska and get to Halibut Cove!

Lastly, lets quickly discuss the really dumb thing that I did recently. You’d think someone who hops from one country to the next all year would remember a few travel essentials like, oh, you know, a passport perhaps? But apparently I was packing in a rush last month in Vermont and left it at SMS, and found out at the airport as I was trying to get to Toronto for my cousin’s wedding. But don’t worry – in case I didn’t already feel bad enough and know that I screwed up, the United check-in agents now provide the free service of yelling at you in front of everyone. Lets just say it was a pretty stressful night, and I felt so horrible for not making it to the wedding since I haven’t seen some of my cousins in years! My awesome teammates at Stratton, Sophie and Erika found my passport and mailed it to my house in Minnesota while I flew home for two days, and then I drove up to Thunder Bay to my Nana’s camp on Silver Beach. I road-tripped with my little sister Mackenzie and Danielle, who has been one of my best friends since 1st grade! So I made it up eventually, but missed the Toronto part of my trip. I’ll write all about the camp on Silver Beach soon, but now it’s time to get back to the water!

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