Marta Keller - My Happiest Place

Author: Marta Keller
Theme: My Happiest Place

Yucatania Point is my happiest place. I didn’t know it existed until my second or third
time in Skagway. It’s slightly out of the way near the airport. Since discovered, it’s a
magical spot calling for my attention and I never dare to skip a visit.
A footbridge over the Skagway River leads to a trail through the forest. The hike is an
easy one, well-marked, mostly flat in the beginning, and with two or three outdoor
fitness equipment stations along the path. If it’s not raining or too windy, I usually
engage in a few repetitions for fun. When I start stepping over large tree roots and pass
by a wooden outhouse and a sheltered area, I can just begin to see the opening to
Yucatania Point. There is a slight descent and then the magic begins.
Yucatania Point consists of numerous sized rock formations that disappear into the
waters of the Lynn Canal. They are decorated in part with plant life from the ocean while
others are exposed with dramatic crevices. There are even a few small bold trees
attempting to grow among the rocks. Harding Glacier overlooks the area in the distance.
There is always a fresh coastal scent in the air.
I often sit on the furthest smooth rock by the water, wrapped in joy and mesmerized by
the views. Sometimes I spend a few minutes enjoying while on other days hours.
It’s the place where I first discovered the surf scoter – a diving duck – swimming by on
the water. Not just one, but at least three dozen of them. They were mostly males with
dark plumage and bold white markings on their forehead, sides of the beak and back of
the neck.
I’ve experienced Yucatania Point when the sky is thick with clouds, light drizzle, strong
winds, eerie fog and those glories sunny days. I’ve also visited when it’s crowded with
people or alone with a friend or two. Sometimes there are boats on the water;
helicopters and small airplanes flying overhead are common. There is magic in the air
no matter the weather or who is in the area. It may be the only place in the world I feel
this way.
There’s the option to keep walking further past Yucatania Point. A meeting place just to
the right exists where I often see people gathered. Following the more rugged forest trail
leads to a second more private spot – Smuggler’s Cove – where fires are permitted.
Yet, it’s Yucatania Point with its prominent rock formations and picturesque views that
captures my heart and fills me with happiness each and every time.