Alaskan Cruise – Day Three

Day Three

I woke up to an amazing view.  If my sister loved me enough I would have awoken to an even more amazing view but such is life.

IMG_1301We took our first excursion today.  A bus ride around historic Ketchikan and a visit to the Potlatch Totem Park.  We learned that the “port” of Ketchikan was built by the cruise lines so they would have somewhere to dock and that all the little stores are built out over the water because there was no where flat to build.  Plus this island is pretty much solid rock.  Homes in the area are quite expensive and run down in the area we drove through.  If the “dumps” are $250,000 I can’t imagine how much the beautiful ones are on the water’s edge.

Our tour guide Mike was very knowledgeable, speaking in the collective person, “we in Ketchikan”, “our island”, I believed he was a native and lived here still.  Turns out he is from Idaho and attends college at BYU where he is Pre Med.  The tour company came to the University to recruit employees for the summer months.  Pretty smart.

While at the Totem Park we learned about the different Clans in the area, the Raven Clan and the Eagle Clan.  They had a replica Clan House where all members of the clan would live at the same time.  It was a big square house with a huge fire pit in the middle.  The youngest kids were in charge of tending the fire and the tallest person in your family was the determining factor in how much space your family was allotted for sleeping.

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They had one original totem (part of the “ritual” of a totem is that it never be moved) but most were replicas.  The replicas are carved on site by their Master Carver.  We met Woody (real name) who is a kid about 25 at most, who learned carving form his grandfather who learned from his father and so on and so on and so on.  He is from one of the original clans in the area.  Totems are used to tell either a story of an event or a history of a family, usually the Chief’s family.  Woody has been working on the totem in the picture for about 4 years, when it is done a Potlach will be held in honor of raising it.

After our tour we decided to meander through town.  We skipped the “cruise line stores” and headed back in to the actual town of Ketchikan and over to Creek Road where we could see many salmon swimming upstream for spawning and many who didn’t make it.  Our tour guide warned us of that.  Many salmon die mid stream and just sort of float around creating a stench that covers the city.  People complain of course, but what are you going to do?

We stopped in many stores and Kat patronized most of them.  With our purchase sin tow we headed back to the ship in time for lunch.  What a busy day and it wasn’t even noon yet.  Lunch at the grill led to soaking in the hot tub and napping on the pool deck.  Life is good.

IMG_1318Dinner’s new taste tonight was Tuna Carpaccio.  It wasn’t horrible, okay maybe a little horrible.  It tasted like canned tuna that had been opened and left in the fridge over night.  I took two bites and decided I didn’t need to finish it.

A wacky game of 80’s music trivia rounded out our day and we are back in our room to catch a couple of winks before heading in to Tracy Arm Fjord at 6m.  Should be a beautiful sight.  Look for pictures to show up on Face Book.

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