Archive for July 18th, 2014

Ketchikan July 18

The ship made port ridiculously early which meant, yay for me the NON-morning person, that we needed to get ourselves fed and watered and off the boat at way-too-early o’clock. The first thing I saw when I staggered out of bed was rain. And as I stared bleary eyed out the balcony door, all that kept running through my head was Deanna’s assessment of Alaska: It was grey and wet.

Enough coffee & bacon tends to help me slightly overcome my inclination to hate the world in the morning. And so I was, while not chipper, at least not angry, when we toddled off the ship and into Ketchikan. We had a rainforest tour first off, but before that there was a cache 400 feet or so from our ship and I was getting it, rain be darned! This was Arissa’s first geocaching experience and she probably thought I was nuts as I knelt down on the sidewalk in the rain and suddenly, and probably unexpectedly to her, produced a hide-a-key from a pole outside a local business.

First Alaskan geocache done and done, we boarded our bus and rode out to the rainforest. Our group was in the rainforest for no more than five minutes when our tour leader, Tyler – who appeared to be about 12, suddenly shushed us! There was a momma bear and her two cubs at the creek! AMAZING!

The salmon were running like mad and it was crazy to see them going up stream! The Bald Eagles – adults and juveniles – were coming in and landing everywhere! Easy pickings for them! It was so wild to see eagles perched everywhere. No big deal. If that wasn’t amazing enough, out strolls another black bear, pretty as you please.

We meandered a little further to an old (but refurbished) saw mill. As we were looking back to the estuary, another momma and two cubs stroll over and walk around. I was so thrilled to be able to get so many good shots of them and doubly happy that I had bothered to take one of the longer camera lenses.

After playing around in the saw mill, we got to feed some reindeer. I was pretty surprised that they were so small.

So how do you follow up seeing seven bears, spawning salmon going crazy, reindeer and all that? You go up the way to St. Georges Inlet and have a feats of crab legs. I have never, ever eaten so many crab legs in my life. It was insane. There were four of us at the table. We had such a heap of shells, that our pile started to teeter!

(Intermission – Because being a tourist is hard work)

After a good workout and some relaxing spa time I was flopped on my bed when suddenly Arissa, who is on the balcony shouts “HURRY, CHRIS!” I about killed myself getting out there to see two porpoises jumping alongside the ship!

And thus ends the enjoyable portion of our day. Scene change to night and our ship flopping around in the water. The sort of flopping where you may as well have chugged a huge bottle of booze because you’re walking like a drunk anyway, holding on to whatever you can, and you’re pretty sure you’re gonna die from seasickness (if you are me, at any rate). Apply sea bands, take Dramamine, take leg medicine, drink Coke (that was recommended by Steve), feel like you want to die anyway.

Check out the full gallery – they aren’t in order because someone (ahem…) wasn’t smart enough to fix the clock on her cameras.

chris on July 18th 2014 in Travel