Alaska Cruise Vacation: Ketchikan

We're in Ketchikan today. It's the last of the three ports, and the first day that the weather hasn't been beautiful. (It drizzled rain on us all day today. Not enough to keep us from walking around the city, but enough to be a little annoying nonetheless). We didn't plan any official excursions for this port because I just wanted to walk around and see the city, and Tony wanted to do some hiking along the trails. (He hopes to see a grizzly bear. I keep telling him that we do not want to meet up with any bears up close). Still, bears notwithstanding, I think we reached an okay compromise.
Some neat things about Ketchikan:
  • It is known as "Alaska's first city" because it was the first town travelers reached when ferrying north. Being that most of those travelers were men, Ketchikan made sure to greet them with Creek Street, a boardwalk district built on pilings over the water of the Ketchikan Creek and Alaska's most notorious red light district. From 1902 to 1954, this district supported over 30 brothels and "sporting houses".
  • Tony's nature trail, leading from the Creek Street Brothels up a mountain to where the aerial tram stops today.
  • Ketchikan is also the merging point of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshan cultures, so it is only fair that the city showcases the largest collection of outdoor totem polls in Alaska (and the Totem Heritage Cultural Center). Totems tell stories about important places, people, or events in history. Each carving (or space) on the poll means something. They're like visual stories that represent the important things in these cultures. (For example, the bottom of this totem tells the story of the idiot tourists, standing in the rain, getting their pictures taken next to a totem poll).
There's a lot more to Ketchikan, and I know I'm not doing it justice, but I'm tired and I'm wet and dinner is going to be starting soon, so I'm going to leave it at that. But if you ever get the chance to visit, check it out.