Our first day in port is in Ketchikan, Alaska. Ketchikan is the fifth largest city in Alaska with a population of 14070. We didn’t book any excursions here today because we’ve booked pricey excursions the next two days in Juneau and Skagway. That turned out to be a good thing because forecast is for rain, which is no surprise because it rains 300 days a year here. So I guess we get to experience a typical day about town.
Our ship bypasses three docks and ties up at the furthest away from town, which has to be at least a half mile away. That’s not too far to walk, but wait til you see how close the other ships parked. At about 8 AM, through a steady drizzle or heavier, we head toward downtown.
On the way there, a guy from the Aleutian Ballad (a crab boat on season 1 of Deadliest Catch), which now does tours, tried getting me to take their tour at half price. I decide to pass because even at half price it was still probably about $50. One quickly learns nothing is inexpensive up here, but considering they only have three months of solid tourist season to make their money for the year, the prices start to make a bit of sense.
So we simply spend our time until 1:30 PM strolling the town, skipping the very popular lumberjack show. We did check out Creek Street (free). This is where the the slamon and men both went upstream to spawn, so to speak. Not much there today but some shops. We walked around the marina and spent $4 to take the funicular part way up the hill but found out we easily could have walked, and the view wasn’t that great. We wound down the some trails and through the local neighborhood and found that many of them don’t seem to live too comfortably. I spose it also is hard to maintain ones place with so much rain.
We almost missed out on what turned out to be the highlight of our day. Our map of the city showed a bald eagle viewing area, but it was a way away in the industrial part of town. With just an hour or so before we need to be back to the ship, we head over. Turns out the map wasn’t very good and we walked right by it. On the way there I saw a dozens of birds flying about, but I just dismissed them as crows since I didn’t think we were to the viewing area yet. Turns out those were probably most or all eagles because when we did turnaround and find the spot, one could see several bald eagles at any given time. Photo conditions weren’t great with the dim, rainy day, but I did manage to salvage a few using software. I thought we’d see bald eagles all through our trip, but it turned out that we only saw a couple others the entire trip. So if you go here, be sure to check this area out.