We had a great trip into the cabin. The first day was spent just getting there; we left our house in Juneau at 6:30 am and arrived on our porch at the lake at 2:30 pm. That's not too bad, considering the logistics.
We boarded the newest ferry in the Alaska Marine Highway fleet, the Fairweather, and pulled away from the dock a half hour behind schedule. Good thing we were on the "fast ferry". This ship has a catamaran hull and cruises at 32 knots (even in thick fog, it turns out). It is 235 ft long and uses 550-600 gallons of fuel an hour. The car deck was full; the crew said it usually fills up on the Friday sailing. Cars were loaded with snowmachines, skis, dogsleds, hockey gear and other signs of winter recreation.
Here are some pictures from the trip in. Drag your mouse over the pictures to see the labels.
The trail conditions from the car to the lake were very good; there was a lot of snow and the trail had been kept in shape by the folks who have been in and out of there all winter.
There were good conditions on the lake as well, also at least partly due to others traveling before us. Staying on a established track was a good idea as the snow was soft and there were layers of slush on top of the ice. The first run on the soft stuff packs it down and the packed trail then freezes overnight.
I have more pictures, of course, which I will post later.
We are heading in to the cabin tomorrow. The snowmachine goes in the truck which goes on the ferry. We will travel via salt water for about 60 miles up to Haines then drive another 25 miles up the Chilkat Valley to the Tsirku River. The water in the river doesn't freeze so we cross it via a bridge that is installed every winter and taken down every spring. It is about 8 miles from the Tsirku to our cabin. Half of the route is a trail through the woods, then we hit the frozen lake and zoom in, pulling our food and gear in a sled behind us.
Snow conditions greatly influence how easy or difficult this sojourn can be. Last night we talked to our neighbors via satellite internet phone who gave us a good report. Here's hoping for happy trails!