Sunday, July 08, 2018

The Great Escape - Day 19 Part 1: Ketchikan, Alaska

Jul 8, Sunday.

Excursion into Ketchikan, Alaska today.  As they like to say, a drinking town with a fishing problem.  :)

We arrived before 6AM, in fact, I woke to see the ship on final approach to the pier!

 A bit foggy in in the hills above the town of Ketchikan
early this morning.

After breakfast, it was an early start for a bus-borned excursion to Alaska Rain Forest Sanctuary for a short walk in the temperate rain forest.  They get at least 200 inches of rain here in Ketchikan, per year, with this year having gotten over 240 inches apparently.  Everything was quite green.

 We saw several Bald Eagles as we toured the rain forest.

 An artsy view of moss-covered branches high overhead

 Jane and Martha listen to Codi, our guide, talk about 
the Banana Slug in her hand.

 More eagles

 A young eagle who hasn't yet grown into its white plumage

As we headed for the sawmill, a report came over the tour guide's radio of a bear sighting!  We rushed back along our route and Larry managed to get this shot of a black bear:

photo courtesy Larry Hall

Part of the tour was a Raptor Sanctuary, where we got a close look at this particular eagle.  Sitka, was hit by a car and injured to the extent that while recovered, he can't be released into the wild because he couldn't feed himself reliably due to damage to his feet.

After the Rain Forest Sanctuary, it was a short bus ride back into town to the Saxman Native Village and Totem Park.

 Atop a "Shame Pole" is a depiction of Secretary Seward 
who failed to follow the gift giving convention of Alaskan Potlash 
ceremonies.  Not only are you supposed to get gifts but you're
supposed to also reciprocate accordingly.  Seward failed to do so.

Beaver Clan House

 Jane and Larry

Next was a walk to the touristy portion of the town, replete with souvenir shops located in what used to be brothels "back in the day".  The picture below marks the trail that used to be used by married men to visit said brothels apparently.

The wives would note the mud on their husbands boots and know where they'd been!

Some more walking through and past souvenir shops, here's a view of Creek Street.  Note that the buildings are located on top of boardwalks and piers.

Here's a view of a competitor cruise ship from the Carnival Lines company.  Slightly smaller I think than our own ship.

 Carnival Lines

 Our ship, the Celebrity Milllenium

Note how the weather had cleared since early morning,
you can see the top of Deer Mountain, Ketchikan's 
highest point.

At 2:30PM, the ship let Concierge Class passengers visit the Helipad at the bow of the ship.  This area is normally closed to passengers but we were allowed this time to witness the ship's departure from Ketchikan.

 Jane and Larry on the Helipad

 Views of the Celebrity Solstice, a larger ship
that Jane and Larry had previously traveled on.

A smaller but very exclusive cruise ship
from the Oceana line, was moored in
front of the Celebrity Solstice.

On our way to our next stop, Icy Strait Point near the town of Hoonah, we crossed a narrow strait called Snow Pass where whales were reported.

I saw a couple way in the distance, on the starboard side of the ship as it headed North in the strait.  The below pic is the best view I got:


Sunset was "OK", see what you think:


RichardM said...

I remember being in Ketchikan (for a meeting) and there was a lot of discussion about expanding the docks for more simultaneous cruise ships. It looks like it may have been a good idea...

redlegsrides said...

I'd seen two big ships before back in 2013....its a pretty long pier along the city front.

CCjon said...

Now that is traveling in style. Am sure Martha is enjoying it ll, maybe you too Dom.

A change in plans now has a ride to Alaska back on the front burner. Leave July 23 from Houston with the Vstrom side camper and my nephew from Colombia who just rode up thru Central America on a vstrom 650.

redlegsrides said...

It's spoiling me Jan, it's spoiling me....sounds like an epic trip to AK is in your near future! I look forward to the postings.

redlegsrides said...

updated posting with pic of Black Bear in Ketchikan, pic shot by Larry Hall