Saturday, June 21, 2014

Alaska Journal #9: Ketchikan? Sure We Can. And We Did.

We're nearing the port of Ketchikan on Tuesday, June 3rd, on the Holland-American cruise ship, The Stattendam.

The residents of Ketchikan, many of whom are involved in the fishing business, get to watch the activity around the waterfront right out their front windows from homes built on the hills over the water. 

Ketchikan is approximately 25 miles long and 6 blocks wide.  I've read varying statistics so I've averaged the numbers.

Ketchikan is spread along Tongass Narrows.  Originally, it was a rough and tumble fishing town, where Creek Street, the red-light district, was a busy, busy place when fishermen and loggers came in to kick up their heels on weekends.

In the early 50s, the Ketchikan Pulp Mill and a sawmill operated on the docks where cruise ships tie up today.  The mill closed in 1997 when tougher logging regulations were established.

Fortunately, salmon fishing and processing is strong again.  The cruise industry has created seasonal jobs, yet, without the old pulp mill, the 8,000 residents still find that winter can be a lean time economically.

Ketchikan was established in 1887 when a salmon cannery was built at the mouth of Ketchikan Creek.


All of the photos above were taken through a window in the dining area where we had breakfast.  Thus, they're not as clear as the following which I took from our balcony.


Our ship is parallel to the dock and from Deck 9, we're towering over the buildings in town.  




The disembarking ramp is in place so we are free to come and go from the ship until 3:00 this afternoon when we'll depart for the next port.  

Good morning, Alice.  Do you think Ketchikan knows what it's in for with our rowdy group about to enter its streets?   

As we walk down the ramp, we are seeing how big this ship is from the outside for the first time, other than the small section of it we saw when we boarded in Vancouver.  Yikes!  How does it stay afloat?  

Ketchikan's liquid sunshine gauge is filled with interesting information.  I wish I could read it all in this photo.  (What I couldn't read, I looked up).  In 1949, they got 202.55 inches of rain; Ketchikan is the King Salmon capital of the world; salmon love rain; Alaska's raindrops, or rain in general, is much more impressive than that in other parts of the world; the average rainfall is 13 feet a year; January's average temperature is 33 degrees; July's average temperature is 65 degrees; Ketchikan is Alaska's 6th largest (most populous) city.

Dang, that's almost too much information. 

"The Rock" sculpture on the dock. 



See the balconies way up there?


We love the wooden sidewalks.  I was very surprised that the employees in several of the jewelry stores would very aggressively try to get us into their stores, promising us free gifts, etc.  I said no thanks or just ignored them.  Sheesh!



 Can't get enough of those mountains!



Boats, boats and more boats.

Shops, shops and more shops.

How many trees do you see?  Would you like to count them?  



Creek Street.  Alright, Gully said to be sure to walk down Creek Street.    




This zigzagging boardwalk on pilings takes us on a stroll in Creek Street's Historic District.    












This is the salmon ladder.


We had fun talking with the proprietor of this little store.

I bought a can (one of those with the pink label) of Pepper Garlic Silver Lining Smoked King Salmon.  Dang, I just took my can from the pantry and the label states Trident Seafoods, Seattle, WA.  Oh well, it should be good anyway.  Ingredients:  King Salmon, salt, brown sugar, pepper, garlic, natural wood smoke.  That'll be a treat. 

Hmmm....the men must have taken this trail to watch the salmon go up the fish ladder.  I get it now.
Today, the old "sporting houses" of the notorious red-light district (1902 to 1954) have been converted into small shops and businesses.


Fishermen and loggers still contribute to a colorful atmosphere in the cafes and bars around the waterfront.




Those sweet married men really loved their salmon.

I'm probably confusing you with my assortment of photos going up and coming back down the same boardwalk.  I know I am.


Musicians from around the world gather for events such as the Torch Nights Performing Art Series.  Ketchikan's commitment to the arts has earned them a reputation as one of America's "100 best small art towns."

In addition, Ketchikan is known for the world's largest collection of standing totem poles.  I'll post a photo of this collection next time we travel to Alaska.  I missed getting one this trip.  :)




I didn't want to take the time to read these signs when we were there.  I should have because I can't very easily read them now.  Where's my  magnifying glass?  

Plants love and thrive on nearly 24 hours of sunlight at this time of the year.

Too pretty to be real, but they are!

We're leaving Creek Street and walking back toward the shops we passed earlier.  I'm not sure but I may have bought my wood watch here in Ketchikan.  





It was nearing 3:00 when the ship was scheduled to depart so we had returned to our balcony.  

Excuse me while I once again capture the downtown front. 


Jewelry stores were overly abundant in every port and city we were in.  I find that totally ridiculous, although I did purchase a few moderately priced pieces made by local Alaskans with materials found in the state.  The majority of the jewelry we saw was made no where near Alaska.  There must be an abundance of people who have so much money they are looking for ways to spend it extravagantly wherever they go.

 I snuck off my soap box and hopefully came out smelling like a rose. Or not?

The ramp was still out and it was beyond 3:00.  Folks dribbled in.  Can you believe it????

All cruisers'  keycards were scanned when we left and returned to the ship, thus, the names of those who haven't returned can be pulled up by the computer system.   

Members of our group enjoyed taking an excursion on this duck tour.  This isn't their ride.  Trust me, they returned well before 3:00, as responsible folks always do.

Oh well, I might as well keep taking pictures.  Well, it's better than letting myself get too bent out of shape over you know what.

I hollered out to the guy with the red bag to find out what he or his wife, more likely, had bought.  No answer.  I guess they couldn't hear me.  The steward in the hallway immediately knocked on our door.  "Mrs. Peters.  Is everything okay?"  I turned red and said, "Oh yes, yes indeed."  Shortly thereafter, he graciously presented me with the tray filled with cheese from Monroe, Wisconsin.

If you believe any of that, I'm sorry.      

We saved our thirst 'til we were on the ship.  Why pay for it in port when we had those beverage cards?    

I love these vivid colors.

Eventually, all were onboard and we pulled away.  

From our balcony, I watch as our ship turns to leave the inlet.  We cruised through the evening and arrived in Juneau the next day at 10:00 am.

7 comments:

Annie said...

WOW!! It seems a bit odd to see all those buildings after the pictures of nature! Glad you are able to enjoy your time there even after you are home ;) Can't wait till the next post.

Cheryl aka Shaddy said...

ANNIE: I agree. It was strange but nice to see a town. It is great fun, posting pictures here and reliving the trip. So glad you are able to spend time here with me!!! I'll get to your blog again ASAP.

Gullible said...

Looks like you covered Ketchikan! Great photos. By the way, if you look at the photos on your tablet, can't you enlarge them by... hmmm....what's the opposite of squeezing your fingers together? Creek Street's a kick. And good for you for staying out of those jewelry stores that most likely are owned by the cruise lines. Sorry to hear they're getting aggressive.

Cheryl aka Shaddy said...

GULLY: You're right about viewing the small print signs by using my fingers on the screen of my tablet. How silly of me to forget that!

I'm glad you mentioned Creek Street to me as a suggested must see. It was a fun walk and it was fun talking with the owner of the shop up on the hill.

I'm going to have the canned, smoked salmon for dinner in a few minutes.

I think of you often when I write my captions. I'm trying to include some pertinent info along with the photos as you ALWAYS do.

Cheryl aka Shaddy said...

CAP & PATTY: I need another one of your interesting and fun comments. I'm addicted to them.

Cap Chastain said...

Thanks SHADDY for your support of our comments .. I feel like I am saying too much when I post .. so here goes on Monday the 23rd. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EXPLAINING that the first photos were taken THROUGH THE (PLASTIC ?) 'GLASS'. I was wondering .. what-on-earth-is-it-with-these-photos ! THEN VOILA ! Intense crystal clear photos with your explanation about the first photos. Ketchikan WANTS AND NEEDS the tourists .. touching and kind-of-sad when merchants are trying so hard to get you into-their-shops (free gifts etc et all). We LIVE here and WE can NOT get enough of our own mountains. Daily I love just seeing them in the near-distance ! You are not alone.

Did you write .. We Rowdy Tourists ? .. Kiddos .. you don't look like you all know Rowdy as in Rowdy Loggers and Fishermen !

Many Smiles from Cap and from Patti .. by-the-by it is Patti with and 'I' as in Indigo .. tee-hee ..

Cheryl aka Shaddy said...

CAP & PATTI: Excuse my previous misspelling of Patti. Naughty me!!

You never write too much. I love every word you contribute. It is sad that the stores are so desperate they have to lure shoppers in. I need to look at that side of the story. I'd do the same thing in their shoes.