Adventure traveler and Dutch TV personality Charlotte Van Hoorn was on board Zaandam for an Alaska cruise and will be sharing her adventure with us.
In Haines, we chose to do the Golf Alaska tour. Whoa! What’s “Fore” in bear talk?! Golfers trade stories about courses like fishermen compare catches. Having a yarn to tell about playing with an animal scout instead of a caddy is one to savor retelling. No embellishments needed. Our guide, Teolani Lynch, watched for bear and moose which are especially drawn to the area as the salmon start their spawning run in the rivelets off the fjord; i.e., the course’s own water hazards. (At least then the eagles target the salmon and not our balls in flight!)
Luckily, the wind off the water kept the balls from skying, so the valley’s namesake just circled and swooped in for a look, not a meal. Then he settled just off the shore bank and watched the struggle to get the little ball in the littler hole, while being distracted by scenery that makes Lake Tahoe’s beauty look like a big box parking lot.
Outstanding welcome by the owner who explained the course’s history of development. It was built on land ever-rising upwards due to its abutting a geosyncline. That’s the ever compressing linear trough collecting volcanic rubble eroding and falling away from the mountains in view. (It’s a Double Delight if you enjoy geology).
Anyway, although wetlands in topography now, someday I’ll have to return with golf balls suitable for high altitude… The course has been professionally designed with doglegs, traps and streams protecting landings in front of the greens. Shorter, thus enjoyable for a family outing, but tricky with the winds swirling. I tried my best, but truth be told, I had been thinking about not hitting too far on purpose and having to enter the woods!
It was a beautiful experience, the equipment and carts were included and you could play as long as you had time for. To a golfer, that is Livin’ Large…..