Maybe it’s because I love a good story, and Haines is full of them.
Or it could be the people: good humored, resilient, and eccentric folk who go about their business all the while making outsiders feel right at home. Remote? Yes, so much so that if you’re pregnant, you’re encouraged to take the ferry or fly to Juneau three to four weeks prior to your due date in order to give birth at the “nearest” hospital. It’s rumored that one mother delivered her baby in a Cessna mid-air, leaving the birth certificate’s “place of birth” space with a question mark. Even so, Haines is on the road system. You can drive there on a two-day jaunt from Anchorage crossing Canada through small towns and vast wilderness. Or, you can do what I’m planning on my next trip there: take a couple of weeks and RV from the Lower 48 through some of North America’s most stunning parks: Glacier, Banff, and Jasper, before routing west toward Haines Junction and dropping south to arrive in time for a pint at Haines Brewing Company downtown. The journey to Haines provides enough stories of its own—some tall tales to be sure, but none as colorful as the ones you’ll hear once you get there.