I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

There was a really big ship in town yesterday– so large it made the hefty Port Chilkoot Dock look like a toy. It seemed as if the ship could pull the dock away with it. From one angle just about all of  Mt. Riley was blocked. It was windy, kind of cool in unprotected areas and there were scattered showers, which may be why the three thousand or so people on board weren’t everywhere.  There were some tourists certainly, but the town did not suddenly more than double. It didn’t feel like the beerfest or the fair crowds do.  Many must have stayed inside. Which is too bad. I think the best thing about bringing so many people here in one container, is that when they step out of the climate controlled, and predictably scheduled and comfortably staffed environment, they meet Alaska– with all our wind and weather and whacky, good and interesting people. My hope is that changes them somehow,  in a positive way, the way living here has transformed us, so that when they get back on that boat, they have a new appreciation for our small distinct community and for the wild place it is tucked inside, so that when petition comes to vote, they may remember a place with clean air and water, big trees and brown bears, and think it’s worth fighting for.  I also hope they see that there is a value in local shops owned by local merchants. That you can live, and quite well, without discount malls and big box stores. The other night in front of the library a tourist asked where the Dairy Queen was. I said we don’t have one, but Caitlin’s place, the Hungry Moose, has soft serve ice cream and pointed her that way.  She looked suspicious. I hope people haven’t switched allegiance from locally owned, independent, mom and pop stores ( like all the ones in Haines) in favor of franchises. I  really hope that gal found the Hungry Moose, and got to meet Caitlin’s new baby, and visit with the teenagers and carpenters waiting for coffee or cones, don’t you?


There is another ship in today, and vacation bible school continues at the Presbyterian Church. The library summer reading program is in full swing with tons of activities, stop by and check it out, Marnie is doing all the yoga classes this week (including Friday at noon.) There’s a potluck birthday party for Dick Folta (78!) in the Chilkat Center lobby Friday from 5-8,  and also Friday 5-7 is an opening at the museum for Donna Catotti’s portrait exhibit (there’s one of my daughter in it), a barn dance Saturday at 7 at the ANB Hall, and a going away party for Jerrie Clarke Sunday 4-6 at the museum. Is it really June 5th already? The bike race is on the 15th- better get in a few rides before then–