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The Beauty and Seclusion of Echo Cove

Southeast Alaska is a place like no other and especially when we are granted a day or a few days with the large yellow ball we call the sun!! Despite the warmth of the day; nature has a firm grip still on winter and spring is struggling to come into existence... humans were not the only one's out enjoying this gorgeous, warm day and I was fortunate enough to find the Echo Ranch horses relaxing in the sun!

A bit of history about Echo Ranch and its beginnings taken directly from the History of Echo Ranch.

"Logger Allen McMurchie was one of many people who took the government up on their offer of "free land."  In the early 1940's, Allen homesteaded a piece of property 40 miles north of Juneau at the mouth of Echo Cove. He was captivated by the beauty and seclusion; as many of us are; and dreamt that one day his land would house a full-time Christian institution.

From his strategic location on Berner's Bay, Allen had easy access to Lynn Canal to move his timber and enough privacy to give a pioneering logger peace.  But he did not enjoy this land alone for long.  In 1950 Allen married a local doctor, Catherine Sherwood, and asked her to share in his life and in his dream.  Their dreams began to take shape in the 50's as they became acquainted with Avant Ministries, then known as Gospel Missionary Union, through the Minfield children's home and the church planting effort in Auke Bay.

The first involvement the McMurchies homestead had with Avant was in October 1961.  They allowed Avant to keep a herd of cattle on their farm to help supplement the needs of the Minfield home.  Out of this contact evolved the idea to have a summer youth camp held on the premises.  In the summer of 1964, the first camp was held on the McMurchie farm, with the site given the title, "Echo Ranch."

Fifty-five campers attended this first two week camping experience and soon work began on a dining hall/kitchen complex and several cabins." To learn more visit their website at

The hike to Pt Bridgette was successful in that I found the much coveted horses and worked on my COVID 15 - initially established as do not gain 15 pounds during this hunker down period; I have now changed course to dropping 15 pounds!! My secondary goal on this day was to spot the first bear of the season... Hoonah and Haines both having there "firsts". So here was my social distancing day out the road! Enjoy!

My companion on this day, Ari Dog!!.. with her ever present owner/niece, Kristen!

What a joy to see how well the Echo Ranch horses have done through a long, cold, snow -filled winter. We are not done yet!

I don't recognize these guys but in 1990 my favorites were Casper, Stormy and Misty (she had a foal at her side).

When the sun shines so does Southeast... breathtaking!!

Winter is still with us and back in full force over the weekend with cold temps and snow... I would not consider myself a landscape photographer but when mother nature gives you this...

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