Wednesday, 1 August 2012

I love Haines, Alaska.

Let me nail my colours to the post; I love the small town of Haines. We passed through 7 years ago and a revisit was always part of our plan.
It did not disappoint.
Is is beautifully situated (Editor: its Alaska, what do you expect?), a great size of about 2000 persons, with a real community feel. Blah, blah.
We were there for our substitute Olympics,  the 4th Of July celebrations!
After the morning parade the town turned out en masse for the various events being held at the park and elsewhere.
These included the ever popular Mud Volleyball.

The Hammer Contest. 
Pictured is the defending champion, Josh, hammering in the 8" railway spike with a heavy hammer with a head not larger than the spike.
He won again with a time of 3.06 seconds, in three hits. Apparently the professionals are only allowed two strikes.

The Firemans Hose Contest.
Two teams face each other and attempt to knock the sliding bouy over to the opponents end.

is it me or are firemen getting younger (And shorter) these days?

There were also traditional events such as the sack race...

.....and the walking backwards on all fours race.
It was a simple delight to share the time with what seemed like a whole town out enjoying itself with simple pastimes and events, all entered upon with great gusto and no small amount of competitive spirit, from 5yrs upwards. The only thing missing (As in a Brit carnival) was a decent punch up.

The evening continued with 7 bands playing at a small outside venue.

Only in Alaska could you find the below mixture of footwear on the dance floor. A good time was had by all concerned. In fact, I intend to spend every July 4th in Haines (Apart from 2013 as we have different plans)

But there is more to Haines than athletic endeavour whilst celebrating kicking our butts out of the continent and live music.
Namely, The Bamboo Room.
(Editor: correctly speaking, the bar is the Pioneer Bar, the Bamboo Room is the connected breakfast room).
I did not imbibe there on previous visit. This time we did. I remember it for the enjoyable time I had sat next to three women (Plus my wife), who for reasons of National Security shall be referred to by their code names of X, Y, and Z. (Although their real names are Mary-Ellen, Brooke & Loretta). If I had not pulled myself away from Mary-Ellen I fear my view when waking would have been this of the bar....

We also met up with Haines friends Rod & Rhonda, who have a local business called Alaska Rod's, stocking Alaskan products and many they make themselves - pop in if you are there, they will both make you feel as welcome as a local.
And Rod has a superb bike, only matched by his beard, but it is rumoured one of them may go this coming year.......but which one?

We were both sad to leave, but are intent to return.

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