A slight drizzle is falling through the forest canopy as our guide stops us and points out the first massive totem peaking through the trees. I’m in Kasaan, Alaska, a remote Haida village of about 60 people. Our guide, Fred Olson, is the Cultural Resources Coordinator for the village and has made this trip possible for guests of Alaskan Dream Cruises. Our small group crosses a moss-covered bridge spanning a bubbling creek that appears to be straight out of “The Lord of the Rings.” We pass a number of towering totems as our guide explains the various types including story poles, memorial poles, debt poles, etc. The group enters the huge Haida clan house and a hush comes over us; we have entered a sacred place. This is authentic Alaska.
This photo was taken at the totem park in Kasaan, which is a very small and very remote native village in Southeast Alaska. We were visiting the village on our 9-day Inside Passage Sojourn cruise aboard the Alaskan Dream. It is unique and perfect for families because it is so authentic. It's not a tourist attraction. It's a place where locals have worked to preserve their heritage. The kids loved running among the totems and exploring the longhouse.