A Travellerspoint blog

Ketchikan, Alaska

August 1, 2007

sunny 0 °F

We are in Ketchikan, the rainiest town in Alaska, and we have blue skies! This is the one town we expected rain. Please don't think that I'm complaining--this weather is great!

We eat breakfast and walk down to the dock at the campground.
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The tide is really low this morning. We can even see starfish from the dock.
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We walk around the dock and look at all the small fish. The fishermen threw some of their waste into the water and the small fish are gorging themselves with food.

Our first stop today is at Saxmon Totem Park, on the other side of Ketchikan (our campground is about 14 miles north of town). The weather is great and we enjoy the scenery on the way to Totem Park, including a dock full of floatplanes:
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Saxmon Totem Park is just what the name says: a park full of totem poles. There is also a clan house that is very nicely done, inside and out, and a shop where two men are carving a totem pole.
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Then we drive south of town along South Tongass Highway. This again, is not a highway, but it’s name says ‘highway’. It’s a 2 lane rural road. We pull off at a beach and make some sandwiches for lunch. There’s a group of tourists snorkeling along the shore, so we watch them and the fisherman and the jumping salmon while we eat.

The road continues for a few more miles past an old logging camp and several waterfalls. We stop at one of the waterfalls and find some ripe salmon berries to try.
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Then we’re off to yet another totem pole exhibit, Ketchikan’s Totem Heritage Center. This is a museum that tries to preserve old totem poles of the Tlingit and Haidi tribes. We learn even more about totem poles and then walk around the area.
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Then it’s off to downtown Ketchikan for some shopping and dinner. After buying a few trinkets, we have dinner at Annabelle’s. This restaurant is in the Gilmore Hotel, where we stayed in Ketchikan 13 years ago when we visited. Good salmon chowder and Alaska Dungeness crab cakes.
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We visit a few more gift shops and then head back to the trailer to do laundry. The washers are really cheap here, $1/load. However, the water in the campground is brown—tannic brown—pretty gross looking to me, even though I know it won’t hurt me. But I do the wash in it anyway and the clothes look fine when they’re done. Just as my body was clean after this morning's shower in the brown water, but no way will I use the brown water to brush my teeth!

I take a break in the middle of laundry to go down to the dock to look at the sunset—it is gorgeous!!! Several of us are down on the docks taking pictures. Definitely not the sunset I expected in Ketchikan, the rainiest town in Alaska.
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Posted by jengelman 15:06 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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I just happened upon your blog, and I found it very interesting. WE are planning a road trip next July from Fresno to Fairbanks ( to take an Acrtic Circle tour), and then return via ferry from Haines to Bellingham. Your photos are great!

by JanaMolina

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