Sunday, June 06, 2010


On the third day of our cruise, we stopped at Ketchikan, Alaska. If you were to look at a map, you would see that this town is in the panhandle of Alaska that boarders Canada. It is called the "First City," because it is the first city that one comes across in the state. It is 500 miles north of Seattle.

In the past, the town has been supported by fishing (Salmon Capital) and lumber. Tourism is a big part of the economy now. This town of not quite 8000 people hosts large cruise ships like the one we were one every day.

We didn't get to spend much time in the city. We explored Misty Fjord from Ketchikan (a great excursion that I'll cover in another post). We didn't get back to town until around noon, and we had to be back on the ship before 2pm, so we just walked around downtown for a little while.

The town is nestled between the waterway and mountains. In some ways, it reminds me of West Virginia (steeper mountains) with its wooden buildings and the town built on the side of the hill.

The area was once home to Tlingit Indians. Tlingit Indians are divided into two lineages -- the Raven and the Eagle. Our tour guide for our Misty Fjord trip talked about this. Her sister had married an Tlingit Indian in the area; our tour guide came to Ketchikan in the summers to work while she is college. Part of the culture of this type of Native American is totem poles. We didn't see any, but they are in various places around town.

The light pole to the right was interesting. Those aren't flags. I couldn't tell if they were actually stained glass or not (I imagine not), but they looked like it and were a beautiful addition to the town.

There was lots we didn't get to see; I imagine more time would have allowed us to explore more than the surface of this town.



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