Saturday, June 29, 2013

One of those Nights - June 28th, 2013

A calm clear evening with some beautiful light in the early evening! It was a night for a few photos. Campground was pretty full, with several nice campfires going on and campers from all over sharing their Alaska Adventures.

I grabbed my camera to chase an Eagle and walked to the small boat harbor next door and grabbed a few shots. It was a beautiful evening.

On with the pics!

First a 6 shot panorama of the view from the campground!

The small boat Harbor in Haines!

Darlin' - the name of the bigger boat in the harbor!

The Eagle on the breakwater!

I hope to have many more evenings like this one and capture a few more pieces of the beauty of this wonderful place in the world!

Stay Tuned! The Adventure Continues!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Rainy Day in Haines Alaska - Update June 27th, 2013

Yesterday was going to be a late night with reservations for the campground after the late ferry arrived at 11:00 pm, so I decided to run a few errands in the afternoon and take a drive. Weather has finally changed a little more back to normal with lower temperatures and some rain. Finally - It has been unseasonably hot here all summer so far. Temps well up into the high 80's!! Very unusual, so nice to get back to some lower temps.

After my errands went looking for some pictures to take...with the rainy weather and low hanging clouds there was not a whole bunch to shoot, but here are a few from yesterday!

Cruise Ship was in town so it was crowded downtown.

A little house on the way to the State Park caught my eye!

I invited Ms. Patricia Millhoff up for a visit and showed her the far she has declined???

But these last two are for her anyway!!

Things are going well here in Haines, like the campground, good people to work with and the setting is to die for! Guess I'll stay till the end of summer!!!

Stay tuned for more updates....

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Monday, June 24, 2013

June 24th 2013 - The Bear Story!! Oh Shit!

Campground was slow this morning and busy this afternoon, so I decided the best plan for the day was to get some shopping done this morning and then go for a photo drive this afternoon before the rush of arrivals at the park

So I headed out toward the State Park up the Chilkoot River looking for something other than landscapes. Give me a friggin animal an eagle or a bear would be fine. Nothing along the way so got to the park and turned around to head off in another direction still hopeful of finding a bear or something. Stopped at the eagle nest and nothing and then all of a sudden an eagle flew overhead and I grabbed a shot.

The eagle!

So I am pretty happy with the fact that an eagle flew over and I managed to grab an in flight shot, but I feel that today will be a day of I am driving away from the park looking for some nice mountain and water shots, maybe a good reflection shot...going down the road I frame a good shot, but I will need to get out of the truck and walk down towards to water to get the shot....I park the truck and change lenses and get out and start down the bank towards the water walking through high grass...trying to get close enough to the water to eliminate it from the foreground of the wide angle lens. Of course as I walk down to the water the wind comes up a little and the perfect reflection is gone....damn!

I get the shot!

As I finished a series of about three shots, something catches my eye to the right a little movement. So I turn and this is what I see!!! Peeking up over the bushes is a big ass brown bear!! And she is only about 15 feet away!! Holy Crap!!

I decide this is entirely too close for comfort but I zoom in the wide angle and try for one more shot!!

Just as I finish the shot the bear stands up on her hind legs and is easily 9-10 feet tall. I figure it is time to make a retreat to the truck and change lenses. BTW - this was a smart move as the bear followed me all the way back through the grass!

So I get to the truck and change lenses and with the telephoto I can get some good shots and remain in the truck!

And now one for Greg Lantz - he has been bitching about me taking pictures of dandelions and weeds, well the friggin bear liked the dandelions and was chowing down!!!

Back to the landscapes!

Stay tuned for more fun as the season progresses!!!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Haines Alaska - Amazing Scenery!! June 21st, 2013

Today I had a busy day - have a couple RV repairs to make and the parts arrived yesterday, so this morning I tackled project number one of three. The electric converter in the RV which converts 110 volts to 12 volts and keeps the batteries charged up was original and started making a weird humming noise, plus it was an older model which only has one charging rate, which means when you are plugged in to electric in a campground for a long time the batteries tend to get overcharged and begin to boil the water out of them, eventually ruining the batteries, plus you have to constantly check the water levels, so I decided since I have brand new batteries (I replaced before heading to Alaska) as they were ruined from overcharging.

So I ordered a new converter, a Progressive Dynamics Inteli-Power 9200. It is a 4 stage charger which will supply a boost charge when the batteries are low and then reduce the charge level down three more times as the batteries return to full charge, then when plugged in all the time, it uses a maintain function which protects your batteries.

The install was pretty straightforward except they put the original charger on the floor and built the trailer around it, it is in a small ventilated cabinet under the stove at floor level with barely enough room to work and involved laying on your belly to see anything and install....other than that it was pretty easy. new unit is much smaller and totally silent. I tested all four functions and it is working beautifully.

This afternoon I decided to take a drive with the camera and see what I could find...chased some eagles for about 15 minutes but no worthy shots, but I did manage to collect an abundance of mosquito bites!! They were ferocious!!

On with the pictures -

Drove back up to Chilkoot Lake and found another dandelion I could isolate with the mountains in the background to drive my friend Greg Lantz crazy, since he questions when I take pictures of weeds!!

Just for Greg the next two!

Now on to some other shots from today!

Stay tuned for more adventures, some salmon are starting to arrive and the bears and eagles are starting to move down towards the river, I hope to get some good shots over the next few weeks. Had another crab feast at the campground last night, it was great fun and the guests really enjoyed it...more coming over the next few days!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Monday, June 17, 2013

Haines Alaska Update - catching up after a couple days! June 17, 2013

I have been a little remiss in my updates, have been busy the past couple days with some great times and some unbelievably hot weather, yesterday was bright sunshine and blue skies and mid-80's! It was HOT! But perfect weather for our first Dungenous Crab Potluck Dinner at the campground!! What a great time and great crab!!

I have been in many RV Parks and you rarely have he opportunity to meet your fellow campers, not here, the potluck last night and crab dinner was a great mixer with over 25 people enjoying the beautiful scenery and wonderful food and conversation. A great time was had by all.

Here are a few pics from the past couple days and last night...have some videos at the bottom as well!

People just relaxing enjoying the view!

The Crab Feast!

A big group!

Now some fun - I bought a GoPro video camera and I am trying to learn to use is an amazing little camera and I intend to get better at using it...but I put two short videos together from a couple days going up two of the rivers around here in a skiff with a nice jet drive outboard on it...the scenery was amazing.

Day 1 - hand held camera

The Crash from yesterday - tested different settings and not as clear but tested mount on front of boat which is nice!

Stay tuned as my great summer continues...I love Haines Alaska just may have to make this my new home base!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Thursday, June 13, 2013

June 13, 2013 - First full day in Pardise!

My first full day in Haines was a great some good work done, hit the entire campground with the weedeater and it looks 100% better, ready for the full weekend. Plus I went for a drive and had a question I have been asking for years and years answered. It was cool and overcast this morning, but cleared up nicely and warmed up this afternoon, another beautiful day! I also restocked the drink cooler and a few other little chores this morning...

But last evening a cruise ship which spent the day here left and it was a wonderful evening with a little glow on the mountains across the way and it made for a couple good pictures...

While out on my drive (it always pays to have your camera and telephoto lens on the front seat beside you around here) there was a very big female brown bear walking right down the road....

As she walked into the woods that age old question was finally answered!! They do shit in the woods, so no need to ask that question anymore I have a picture to prove it!!

Then I drove on up to the local State Park at Chilkoot Lake and got this nice bad it was cloudy and overcast!

It will be a zoo around this town for the weekend there is a 150 mile bicycle relay race from Haines Junction to Haines lots of planned activities in the town square and the campground is full!!

Should be fun, stay tuned for the festivities...

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

June 12, 2013 - The most beautiful Drive!

Today I made arguably the most beautiful drive I have ever taken. I drove from Haines Junction in Yukon Territory to Haines Alaska. First the road was perfect and smooth and at every turn of the road was a more spectacular view, so expansive it was nearly impossible to capture with the camera. but if you get to drive to Alaska this is one road you do NOT want to miss. This year I have traveled all around Alaska and so far nothing else compares!

It is only about 150 miles or so, but you are surrounded by big jagged snow capped peaks the entire way and along the valley floor are wonderful small lakes and streams. I saw two nice healthy 2 year old black bears although they scampered into the woods the moment the truck got close.

I arrived in Haines at about 12:30 this afternoon and the first order of business was to hit the car wash and knock 50 pounds of mud and dusty dirt off of the RV and truck, the trip from Tok to Haines Junction had about 12 miles of muddy dirty unpaved road where they are resurfacing. So it was a mess, you can see some of it in this first picture.

After washing the truck and trailer, I drove to my new home, at least for the next couple of months. Oceanside RV Park, right on the water in Haines. It is a very nice RV Park and quite busy. I will be helping with a wide assortment of duties, from checking people in and directing them to their site and giving them local information. It should be a fun summer in an idyllic location, I am excited to get to experience the area.

This is the view from the campground!

Here are a couple more from the drive today!

I started my work right away and all is going very well. Nice people to work for and with and a very beautiful location. I can't wait to explore the area and this nice little Alaskan town.

Whales were breaching out front today and this evening the eagles were playing right in front of the campground. This is a special place!

Stay tuned as my summer adventures progress!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest