The ship glided into our first port of call, Ketchikan, around 5 am. The picture is what I saw from our balcony. Famous for colorful totem poles, rainy skies, steep streets and a lush island setting, Ketchikan is a favorite stop for travelers. You can get here by boat or you can get here by plane, that’s pretty much it. It’s the 4th largest city in Alaska. We spent the day here, and I can see why it’s a favorite destination.
It rains here a lot, and today was no exception. We set off for our bus tour of the town and Totem Bight State Historical Park in a drizzling mist, and while others aboard were ziplining and seaplaning to the Misty Fjord, I was really glad we were able to see the totems in this lovely park. We also had an enthusiastic college student from central Utah as our bus driver and tour guide; we hope Rick’s energy level last through the whole tourist season.
Ketchikan in the 1930’s was known as the “salmon-canning capital of the world”. After our return from the totem park, we tried to stimulate the local economy just a bit with some purchases of incredibly delicious smoked salmon, vacuum packed for easy travel.
We had booked a second tour for the afternoon, called a Feast of Alaska, which was more an amazing dining experience than a tour per se. Our group only had to walk to the end of the pier edge to a restaurant where we were treated to a multi-course meal of Alaskan seafood specialties, from fish cakes, to grilled shrimps, crab two ways, seafood chowder, both salmon and halibut, finishing with a bread pudding with local berries and rhubarb. I was only able to get one picture, but we left with a recipe booklet and I am eager to try some of these at home.
Is it any wonder we are relaxing the rest of this day? After wine in the lounge and another delicious dinner, we are at sail tonight. Tomorrow is a very long day, starting with a 5 hour catamaran tour of the Tracy Arm Glacier at 7 am; at 1pm we dock in Juneau. When we return from Tracy Arm, in our afternoon in Juneau we have an opportunity to take a small group photography tour out to the Mendenhall Glacier, which also involves some sea time. We will have to pass on the State Capitol this trip, but I imagine Gov. Palin is at home in Wasilla. This will be our longest day of touring, and it also coincides with the longest day of the year.
The creek on Creek Street, former home of Ketchikan's bordellos: