Alaskan Cruise Post 6: Ketchikan, Alaska

Thursday, July 07, 2011
We arrived in Ketchikan on Sunday morning and took a tour of the city.  We were a few weeks too early for the salmon run, but we saw the river they would be swimming up.  It would have been interesting to see this river filled with the salmon (they hop up the falls, and even the stairs built on the left hand side).  On the otherhand, after salmon lay their eggs, they all die, so apparently the towns smells like dead fish for this same time period.  As if fish didn't smell bad enough....
Ketchikan also has a huge collection of carved totem poles...a lot of those poles are in parks and various areas of town with really great flowers and pops of color.
We drove past quite a few totem poles, and later walked around the old part of town near Creek Street and saw some up close and personal.
I'm just adding the below picture because I love churches, and I love taking pictures of steeples even more than light houses. 
This is the area of the town near the port of call. 
One portion is called Creek Street, and some of the original shops and saloons were housed along this area (also next to the salmon run).
Our tour took us all over the town, but it was one of those duck tours that also goes out into the water (they have these in quite a few cities all over the country.
From the water we were in the pathway of quite a few float planes taking off, so bizarre to see. 
We cruised the harbor areas where fishermen were unloading their catch, and were happy to come out for a photo op.  I don't know what kind of salmons these are, but they were huge.
Thre were also four bald eagles I saw swooping around these fishing grounds, including the below bald eagle who hasn't grown into it's white head (it takes 5 years to develope that).  This guy/gal was knawng on some fish in the harbor.
The tour only lasted a little over an hour, so we spent the remainder of our time seeking out some of the totem poles (so cliche, but very necessary), and we were also able to find some fun souvenirs.  I had read this was one of the best/most affordable shopping areas for Alaskan art.  My Mom and I actually used The Alaska Cruise Handbook quite a bit on the ship.  It's a very detailed book written by a guy who fished these waters, and later toured the inner passage for years.  He gave detailed descriptions on the land we were passing, history behind the cities, and tips on what to see, where to go, and what to do in each city.  His advice was spot on and a lot more narrative than typical travel guides.  We had purchased this prior to the trip, but they also sold it on our boat.  All this to say, it was a good buy.
Ketchikan was our last stop in Alaska, but I'm keeping the book because this won't by my last Alaskan stop if I can help it.  :O)  Next....and last up, our last port-Victoria, Canada.

1 comment

cedarslodge said...

Wow! Is a beautiful places hope to be there soon. Thanks for sharing!

Things to Do in Ketchikan