By sunrise on this fourth day, our ship had saddled up to the dock at Ketchikan, Alaska. Known both as “Alaska’s First City” and “The Salmon Capital of the World”, Ketchikan seemed sleepy at first light. While we felt the same, those who know me best will be shocked to hear that Ann and I were up and at ‘em at 5:25am! Before de-boarding “The Sun”, we loaded up on a filling breakfast and then hit the shore around 7am! Many of our group had planned paid shore excursions, but the two of us elected to just sightsee and shop.
While the local economy is bed rocked on a history of the Klondike gold rush and fishermen with their mighty salmon nets, today jewelry stores and tourist shops line the streets on both sides.
Among the bustling tourist trade and winding through this historic Alaskan town is Creek Street, hugging a rushing stream teaming with literally thousands of salmon. It’s great fun watching this species fight the swift current in their struggle against the rushing water. You almost feel sorry for their efforts as you watch so many of them lose the fight and become swept back, only to try again over and over. There’s a lesson somewhere in that I’m sure!
As a weatherman, I should let you know that it is typically the cool, rainy season here, although skies were bright and blue this day with unbelievably comfortable temperatures from the upper 50s this morning to the upper 70’s during the afternoon. With everyone for themselves at the port of calls, we seemed to lose track of our other travel partners during the walkabout in Ketchikan. Everyone went their own way, but shared experiences with us back on board “The Sun”.
A highlight of this day for me was whale watching back on the ship’s observation deck. With the expertise of our Holiday Vacation tour guide, Tanya Carlson, we were able to spot several humpbacks as we passed through the calm waters of Snow Pass on the departure from Ketchikan. Everyone on deck was focusing cameras and binoculars on the open water, waiting and watching with anticipation for these magnificent mammals. It was such a great thrill for this very amateur photo bug to snap a shot of a humpback tail breaking the surface!
Wednesday morning we enjoy our next port of call in the capital of Alaska, Juneau! Should be fun…
Rusty's Entire Alaskan Travel Blog
Part 1 - Seattle
Part 2 - Vancouver
Part 3 - “The Inside Passage”
Part 4 - Ketchikan
Part 5 - Juneau
Part 6 - The White Pass and Yukon Narrow Gauge
Part 7 - Canadian Yukon
Part 8 - Fairbanks
Part 9 - Panning for Gold
Part 10 - Denali
Part 11 - Mt. McKinley and Wasilla
Part 12 - Anchorage and Prince William Sound