Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ketchikan



Ketchikan was our last sightseeing port of call before heading south through the rest of the inside passage to disembark in Vancouver.  As we made our approach to the dock, there were sights everywhere which indicated how important the aviation and marine modes of transportation are to the life of these Alaskan cities and towns.  Today the city relies on the fishing and tourist industries for its economic survival. It  is called the Salmon Capital of the world. As in the other ports of call, the cruise ship docks were fully occupied.










After reviewing the things to see and do in Ketchikan, we decided that we would see this city on our own without any guides.  The area is relatively small and is the most densely populated city in Alaska. One of the must see attractions is the standing totem poles,  Ketchikan has the most of these poles in the entire world.   A quick stop at the visitor's center on the pier confirmed that we could take a city bus for one dollar to the state totem park about ten miles out of town.  The state park is actually located in a rain forest with examples of many types of totem poles and a native Indian Tingit clan house.  The house is supported in the corners by totem poles.








Upon returning to town, we visited one of the more colorful historic districts of town -Creek Street.  The early settlement of Ketchikan was centered on the fishing and lumber industry.  In order to keep the less savory elements of adult entertainment under control, the city mandated that all of the designated businesses be located along the creek.  Today there are still reminders of those wild years to be seen.  The Creek District today is all tourist attractions, including Dolly's house.  Dolly is the most well know of the "sporting ladies" who made their living here.  After working her trade in several other towns, Dolly settled here in 1919 and continued to work out of her Creek Street home until the late 1940's.  She continued to live in her house until 1973, when she became too ill to live alone.  She died at the ripe old age of 88.






We then took a walking tour of the downtown area and a final stop at the federal discovery center where there was displays of the native cultures and the early years of European settlement efforts in fishing and lumber. 








16 comments:

Shoeless Joe said...

I've got to say I'm really enjoying being on the tour with you.

Donna K said...

We enjoyed the colorful houses along Creek Street. Your pictures of the totems are great.

Gypsy said...

I think I would like to visit Ketchikan, mainly to see the totems.

Paul and Marsha Weaver OCT. 17, 2009 said...

Paul did chainsaw carvings of totem poles before we started to travel. He was very good, but these are fabulous...don't tell him I said that.

Creek Street is really cool. I never heard the term "sporting lady" used before. Very interesting.

What a nice downtown they have. I really like their welcome sign.

Judy and Emma said...

You sure did cover a lot of territory on this trip.

Wanderin' said...

Ketchikan is definitely a unique little town. About the only way to get there is either by ship or plane. I bet the store owners sure like it when the docks fill up.

Rick Doyle said...

Thanks so much, Chuck, for taking us all along on your tour of Alaska. It's been a fantastic narrative of history, scenery and local color.

Your photos have been simply outstanding and I've really enjoyed seeing them as I sit here in the comfort of my computer room with a cup of coffee each morning.

So, my question is "where are you heading next?" A tour of the African Continent might be nice!

John and Carol said...

Your photos reminded me of my visit many years ago. Your "free" tour turned out to be very good. Enjoy the rest of your cruise. Looking forward to your next post.

Carol Krajcar said...

Very interesting tour!

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

How did I not vacation in Alaska? We have to light a fire under our plans to head there sooner than we've planned.

Fabulous tour!

Nan Talley said...

Love the tour! Incredible photos. You make us want to have a like tour.

Nan Talley said...

Love the tour! Incredible photos. You make us want to have a like tour.

Erin Erkun said...

We opted to head up to the Totem Heritage Center when we were in Ketchikan ... it was very interesting. Then we took the Married Men Trail back down to Creek Street. That's when the skies opened up and we got soaked to the skin and had to return to the ship to change clothes for our afternoon adventure to Misty Fjords ... as beautiful as the fjords were, I think the best part was the close encounter with killer whales, and the return to Ketchikan on a pontoon plane ... ahh, yes ... more great memories.

Nancy said...

What an incredible tour. Thank you so much for sharing.

Sherry said...

This is a great tour of Ketchikan. We took an inside passage cruise and went there. I just loved the totems. Interesting that in former times unsavory things were put on the waterfront. Not anymore that's for sure. I have loved this trip you have taken and really want to look into doing one like it. You have seen SO much more than just the inside passage. Thanks for taking me along. Hope I can do it in person one day.

Mike and Terri said...

Great tour! Hope to go there sometime ourselves.