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Alaska's Virgin Islands
Exit Eldred: Passengers on the three-and-a-half-day ferry ride from Bellingham, 80 miles (129 kilometers) north of Seattle, to Haines know this luminary, Eldred Rock Lighthouse, as a long-awaited sign of terra firma.

"Eldred Rock Lighthouse is a welcoming beacon for a lot of passengers at the very end of a two- to three-day ferry ride from Seattle to Haines. By the time we saw this lighthouse, all the tents were broken down and packed up, the ship was orderly, and everyone was eager to get off the ferry. The Chilkat Range, flanking Lynn Canal, has a quiet but powerful presence in the background.

"Even though we didn't experience the whole ride, we were feeling antsy to get the trip started. After flying into Juneau, assembling our bikes, setting up camp, and nearly missing our ferry due to making a wrong turn at 5 a.m., Bob and I were rejuvenated by the perfect weather captured in this photo. We had three days of crystal-clear, 21C (70F) temperature during one of the nicest stretches of weather I have ever seen in southeast Alaska. One day of warm, clear weather, you savor; two is unheard of; but three is epic."

—Photographer Rich Reid

Photograph by Rich Reid

May 2004

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