We arrived in Ketchikan around 9 am Thursday and headed straight off the ship to explore the town. We were docked right in the center of town which was so convenient not needing a shuttle. Pete and Ellen slept in again, still trying to shake whatever bug they had, but Carl, Tom, and I (after getting a little confused on the pickup point) caught the local bus to Totem Night State Park, about 20 min north of town. This is a small state park on the water that features original and replica Totem poles along with a clan house from the First Nations. This area was settled >10,000 years ago by those who crossed the land bridge from Asia. Totem poles were works of art commissioned for births, deaths, tribe crests, or significant achievements. They feature local animals like wolf, bear, orca, bird, and otter and often told legends and creation stories. I thought the area was fascinating, but you can see from the attached picture that Tom was not as enthralled (he thought state park = trees and hiking).
We took the bus back to town (with Tom wishing we had rented a car for the day the whole time) and met Pete and Ellen on the docks for fish and crab. Tom and I had been waiting all trip to enjoy fresh crab on the waterfront and we were not disappointed! We had cod fish n chips along with king crab legs. Ellen and Carl tried the Dungeness crab, and liked it better than the king crab they had tried previously on the trip. We also had great blackened salmon tacos.
After lunch, Carl, Tom, and I walked along Creek Street which is a series of boardwalks over the creek that runs through town. We made it to the fish ladder, which is a concrete structure that allows spawning salmon to route around the large waterfall that they otherwise cannot traverse upstream. We saw several fish make it through but we also saw lots of dead fish in the water. This is the tail end of the silver Salmon run and the fish are absolutely exhausted and unable to breath since they are used to salt water, so many die en route to the lakes where they spawn. I think only 2 out of 1000 salmon make it to the spawning grounds.
|Cute door stop outside of an artisan shop in Creek Street|
After 45 min or so, we landed in a lake and got off on a floating dock to look around and stretch. Fjords are Glacier carved inlets from the ocean, so despite looking like lakes, they are all salt water and connect to the see. We also saw some fantastic alpine lakes high in the mountains, left by glaciers or made from accumulating rain water. They often form long, beautiful waterfalls that cascade down to the ocean. We were lucky enough to visit Ketchikan on one of the sunniest, most beautiful days of the year, therefore we did not see any mist in the Misty Fjords, but the views and experience were still breathtaking and well worth the cost of a flight seeing tour.
We headed back to the ship and made it just before all aboard (with Christina stressing about the time the whole last 20 minutes). Enjoyed some fresh made, Napoli style pizza in the pizzeria on board as we watched the sail away and then everyone retired to clean up and nap before dinner. That night Tom and I caught the magician performance and really liked it.
Friday everyone slept in and then we met up on the lido deck to sun in the lounge chairs. It was pleasantly warm and you could sit out in swimwear as long as you were not wet from the pool. After lunch on the lido deck we returned to the sun deck and caught glimpses of orcas and birds. We finished out the day with a visit to the bar for happy hour (buy 1 get one free every afternoon), a round of trivia, and a beautiful sunset as we ate dinner.
|View of the Grand Princess as we landed in our float plane nearby|