Lexie DeWitt enjoyed a visit from her friend, Jill Heikel, who lives in Chelan, Wash. She timed her visit to arrive just as the sunny weather ended, but still enjoyed hiking, shopping around town, and fishing in the Chilkat River. They met up with Brian, Sarah and baby Caroline Eliott for dinner out on the last night. Jill manages a Starbucks at home and liked Haines so much she accepted a job as the floor manager at Mountain Market. She's planning her return in late October.
Ron and Jacque Horn are home from a trip to the Interior to explore and catch fall colors. They drove to Fairbanks, where they picked up college friends David and Vicki Gresham, who live in Merced, Calif. The foursome spent a day at Chena Hot Springs Resort before heading to Denali National Park for the lottery road opening. They spent more than 12 hours driving to Wonder Lake, where Mount McKinley could be seen the entire day. Along the road they ran into Alexandra Feit and Bud Barber, who also were traveling with friends. Bud and Alexandra were in a 30-minute "traffic jam" while a grey wolf walked along the road. They said they had 10 days of beautiful weather during their Interior trip. They camped along the way, hiked near Delta Junction and along the Denali Highway, and spied northern lights at night.
Jerrie Clarke and Karen Meizner are home from a trip to Fairbanks for a joint meeting of Museums of Alaska and the Alaska Historical Society. They bumped into Ron and Jacque at Fast Eddy's in Tok on the way up, as well as the Chapell family, who were also on their way to Fairbanks to visit friends. Jerrie and Karen both gave presentations at the three-day conference. Jerrie talked with attendees about methods for involving communities in exhibit planning and Karen led a session on the Past Perfect database, which the museum uses to catalog collections. Jerry enjoyed a session on green museums where participants heard the Alaska Heritage Center invested $6,000 in LED lighting and saved $10,000 in electricity within the first year of operation.
Byrne Power hosted a couple of couch surfers from Poznan, Poland recently. Magda Skwierczynska and Marcin Gorzelanczyk are hitchhiking from Anchorage to Argentina and stopped off in Haines for five days. They had been in contact with Byrne for the past few months and met through the travelers' website http://www.thehospitalityclub.com. Byrne hooked them up with a float trip down the Chilkat River, and the duo enjoyed foraging for local mushrooms and hikes to Battery Point and up Mount Ripinsky. They also met Don Chase, who offered to host the pair in Arizona later this winter. Follow Magda and Marcin's progress on their blog, luckytrip.fla.pl.
Heather Lende caught up with former cross-country runners Andrew Friske and Carl Blackhurst in Sitka during the regional cross-country meet. Andrew and Carl share the duties of athletic director at Mount Edgecumbe High school, where Andrew is also dorm principal and the boys' basketball coach and Carl is student-teaching history and coaching girls' basketball. Andrew and Carl ran on Heather's first cross-country team in 1993, and were there to watch the meet, which was Heather's last before she retires. Heather also saw former resident Kathy Eggen, who visited with Haines runners at the high school. Kathy and husband Andy caught up with cross-country parents Tammy Piper and Tina Olsen over dinner.
Cody Loomis is in town to catch up with parents Sheri and Craig Loomis and do some moose hunting. Cody and wife Marlie, who live in Sitka, are expecting their first baby in February. Cody finished up his first season power trolling aboard the Dorothy Ann, which he bought in Haines from fisherman Marty Remund. Cody's sister Erica Pearson, also in Sitka, is finishing up her nursing degree this fall and already has one job offer. Craig spent a week in Adak, Alaska with son-in-law Chris Pearson on a caribou hunt. Craig was amazed at the condition of buildings and belongings that were seemingly left in a hurry when the Navy base was decommissioned in the 1990s. Chain restaurants filled with equipment and fully furnished houses are common on Adak. When Craig and his party needed a freezer to hold their caribou, they found one available and plugged it in. With few predators on the island, there were no bears to worry about at night, but Craig could hear rats scrambling around in their cabin after dark.
Cub scouts continued a tradition of service at the home of Doris Ward on Friday. Cub Scouts Kyle Dozier, Wesley Verhamme, Tommy Ricker and Dylan Chapell were joined by Carver Culbeck and parents Courtney Culbeck, Jayme Dozier and Jason Shull to stack wood for Doris on her porch. The first group of scouts showed up in the fall of 1998 to lend their assistance after Doris' husband Karl Ward passed away.
Board and committee members of the Chilkat Valley Community Foundation traveled to Anchorage to attend The Foraker Group's Leadership Summit last weekend. CVCF President Ann Myren was joined by Cecily Stern, JoAnn Ross-Cunningham and Sara Chapell for the threeday meeting, which networked leaders of nonprofit organizations from across the state as well as other representatives from community foundations affiliated with the Alaska Community Foundation. Also in attendance from Haines were Beckie Chapin , who represented Lynn Canal Counseling, and Sierra Jimenez, Development Director for Southeast Alaska Independent Living. Attendees were in workshop sessions in the basement of the Egan Center when a 4.9 earthquake hit Anchorage. A strong jolt was felt before the earthquake ended without incident.
Eleven residents have signed up for the second Well & Fit Community Challenge, facilitated by SEARHC employees Pam Sloper and Marnie Hartman. The 12-week program will encourage healthy lifestyle changes by helping participants set goals and report back on their progress. Local speakers will facilitate discussion including Robin Grace, Laurie Dadourian, Bob Whitcomb and Nancy McGrew. The $35 fee to join the program is for prizes. It's not too late to sign up. You can learn more about the program on the Well & Fit blog found through the hainesak.com website. Many of this year's participants joined a Haines Weight Watchers group last spring for a 12-week session facilitated through Anchorage. The 19 participants lost over 225 pounds throughout the 12 weeks.