More than 75 friends gathered on Sunday at the Chilkat Inlet Retreat to celebrate Leigh and Greg Horner’s 30th wedding anniversary. Fred Shields, Andy Berry, Sue Libenson, Marley Horner and Greg played in the band Dynaflow and Leigh made a towering raspberry and lemon cake, which Melina Shields decorated with flowers from her garden. Longtime friends Stuart and Suzy Cohen came up from Juneau to join the party. On their way north, former residents Lon and Litia Garrison heard about the celebration and stopped in to visit friends and give hugs.

Jesse McGraw and Liz Segars have returned from Sitka where they participated in the Mudball Softball Tournament. Jesse played on a Juneau men’s lower division team which took first place, Liz played in the upper division Juneau team, which also took the top title. The couple both played in the upper division co-ed with players from Whitehorse, Juneau, Skagway and Haines. That team ranked fourth. “I made the all-tourney team for the upper division co-ed and we spent a lot of time visiting with Jesse’s family,” said Liz. They also visited with Haines grad and now Sitka resident, Andrew Friske, his wife Becky and their children Jacob and Gracelyn.

It was a beautiful sunny day for a hiking and camping up Mount Ripinski last weekend to celebrate Alissa Henry, Rene Hoffman and Jola Ryan’s birthdays. Other hikers included Sarah Elliott, Keri Eggleston, and Jess Crowe. While on the mountain they snacked on blueberries and enjoyed watching the northern lights from the saddle. They also had a surprise flyby from Sarah’s sister JJ Hinderberger and her husband Brian Hinderberger who had just flown into Haines for the weekend to visit family. “We were surprised to see them and didn’t know who they were at first, but then with each pass we did a funny pose, our last pose was a pyramid,” said Alissa. Also, at night, the group could see twinkling lights in a cirque below Santa Claus Mountain. To their surprise they found out later it was Kyle Clayton, Chorus Bishop, and Adam MacMahan who took a trip across to climb the mountain. They also saw the birthday girls’ lights flashing from Ripinski.

The following day, Alissa’s son Dalton Henry and cousin Aric Miller and friend Rio Ross-Hirsch continued on the same venture of spending the night up at 3920. However, Alissa and her daughter Makayla Henry ran into a wasp nest and had to turn back as Makayla developed an allergic reaction. “It’s a good idea to be aware of that wasp nest if you plan on starting at 7-mile,” said Alissa. On Sunday, a handful of other hikers from at least two different parties were stung by yellow jackets going up the 7-Mile Saddle trail.

School started at Headstart and Chilkat Valley Preschool on Tuesday. This year both programs will run more hours than previous years. With the longer schedules, naps are required and one little preschooler wasn’t quite having it on his first day. “Jameson Eggleston, just told us he was not going to nap, he was just going to play all day,” said teacher Tiffany DeWitt. Patricia Faverty, Elissa Brooks and Sean Maidy are also employees at Headstart. Chilkat Valley Preschool welcomes Betsy Shiner as the afternoon program teacher joining returning teachers Alissa Henry and Hannah Bochart.

Longtime friends Theresa Cokeley, Rhonda Cox, Harriet Brouillette and Evangeline Willard enjoyed a trip to the Pacific Northwest. They watched the Steve Miller Band concert at Chateau St. Michelle Winery. They also watched the Elle King, Joan Jett, and Heart band at the Tacoma Dome and met even more friends. The first night, they enjoyed catching up with classmates Mary Brouillette, Dirk Halliwill and Andrew Tait. This trip was a prelude trip to a big ladies trip they want to take to either Costa Rica, Switzerland, or even an 80s cruise.