Ok - Now that we are home - a bit about today's trip to Haines, Alaska. Nikki's forth grade class spent the last few weeks learning about South East Alaska, and one of the things they learned was that there is an "Eagle Fest" each year in Haines. So they raised money for the last few months, and starting at 5:45am this morning us, along with 27 10 year olds, and about 30 parents, and a few siblings here and there, started our adventure. The ferry was a smaller one that is used to tote folks to the smaller islands, and is by no means the "fast boat!" There was just enough room on the boat for us and about 60 more people. Leaving the docks in the early am, the sun was just rising and you could see light bouncing off each wave. The further we got out, more and more of each snow capped mountain appeared. Also to appear were little white caps on each wave. The wind picked up something awful and only the brave (or dumb {this girl{) dared to walk the decks. But knowing that I wanted to capture EVERYTHING, I made my choice and headed out. The wind about pushed me over and I had to brace myself from falling. In full winter gear, I could still feel the coldness off the ocean waves. My hair stood three feet above my head as it swirled in the wind, but I was determined to capture some sun flares. We passed a barge of some sort and I caught the timing of a wave crashing over the bow. Then I saw the light house. Red roof, on an island in the middle of the ocean, Eldridge Rock Lighthouse, was a sight to see. I took lots of images, because the wind was not only knocking me around, but the camera too. At one point another photographer even stepped in front of me to block the wind, only to be pushed right back into me. We finally got to Haines and quickly boarded the bus (ALL 50+ of us on a school bus!), and headed to the raptor center. Neat little place with live animals and lots of stuffed ones. The best presentation was by Skye, a 12 year old Jr. Raptor Volunteer. We then boarded the bus again and headed to see the Eagles. We saw about 60 in trees, but nothing close. On our first stop, we had 20 minutes to take photos, and look for eagles. I found about 5 sitting in a tree, but not close enough, even with my tele lens on. The rest of the eagles were sitting in the middle of the river, watching the salmon jump around in the water. You needed binoculars to even see them. Back on the bus, and one more 15 minute stop, we headed down a very long path, only to find one eagle, sitting backwards, high up in the trees. It was then time to leave. We stopped for pizza to go for the kids and then got back on the ferry. The night sky turned dark, but not before I got a picture of the almost full moon over the mountains. Would I go again - yes - but not with kids, I would go two weeks sooner, I would have my own transportation, and I might even stay a day or three. Enjoy what little I did capture, feel free to share, just be kind and tag me as I did not have time to watermark, and look for our next adventure soon - Aaron, Carol and Nikki