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Ferry to Ketchikan

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

semi-overcast 0 °F

The alarm goes off at 3:45am :-( We need to be at the ferry dock by 4:30 for our 5:30am ferry to Ketchikan. And we actually do arrive on time. We check in and have some muffins while waiting for the ferry.

The engineer tells us that we need to back on. We were hoping for an easy drive onto the ferry this morning, but I guess that’s not going to happen. So we back up the rig and turn around in the intersection next to the parking lot (very early, so no traffic). We have a little turn before we get to the ramp and Jere is frustrated with my instructions on which way to turn the rig. Luckily one of the attendants comes up to us and asks if we want help. Jere immediately says ‘Yes’ and I’m relegated to my normal duties of making sure he doesn’t run into anything.


We finally get down the ramp and the ferry is almost empty, so we just keep it parked by the door so we can pull right out at Ketchikan (that is the only good thing about backing onto the ferry).


It’s drizzling this morning, so we find a seat in the front lounge and relax. The scenery is foggy and we’re tired so we spend most of the ferry ride inside looking at the scenery or reading.



While we’re back in the cafeteria having breakfast (the Matanuska has good food; unlike the Taku), someone yells ‘whale’ and we all race to the window. There’s a small humpback whale fairly close to the ferry.

As we get close to Ketchikan, it’s getting brighter. We expected rain today, so this is a nice surprise.

We arrive at Ketchikan by Noon and are the first ones off the ferry. Our first stop is at the tire dealer. We had a blow out on one of our trailer tires near Destruction Bay and none of the tire dealers in Haines or Juneau had the size tire we needed. So we had a tire shipped from Oregon to Ketchikan about a week ago and it arrived in the container yesterday. There are 4 customers ahead of us, so we make some sandwiches and wait for our turn. It is actually sunny out, thankfully we don’t have too long a wait before we are on our way again.

We set up camp and cannot get our hitch undone. After about 30 minutes or so, we finally manage to get unhitched and set up. We walk down to the dock at the RV park and look around at the SUNSHINE AND BLUE SKIES!!!

We’re tired so we take a break, have a snack and then head out to explore Ketchikan. It normally is cloudy/rainy in Ketchikan (they average 155 inches/year of rain and it’s not unusual for Ketchikan to get 200+ inches) and the tire clerk said this is the first day it hasn’t been rainy since she’s been here this summer. SO….even though we’re very tired, we figure we better take advantage of the sunshine and do some sightseeing.

Our first stop is the Bight Totem State Park to see totem poles. Ketchikan has more totem poles than any other city in North America.



Then off to downtown Ketchikan to check out the town
and the Southeast Discovery Center. All of the state and national forest & park services went together to build one visitors’ center in town. It’s free with our national park pass and is very nicely done.

We also walk to Creek Street: Their picturesque and historic ‘red light’ district. The cruise ships have all left town, so the street is deserted.

We’re very tired, so we head back to the trailer for dinner and some TV. We haven’t had TV for the last week, so this is a nice change.

Posted by jengelman 11:12 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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