After spending a couple days at sea (departing from Vancouver, B.C.) our first destination was in “Alaska’s first city” of Ketchikan. When I hear the word Ketchikan I’m immediately transported back to my elementary years of binge watching Pokemon before school – gotta catch em’ all. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
The jewelry business in Alaskan cities is prominent, although I didn’t quite understand it. I suppose everyone has their “thing,” but I sure didn’t travel to Alaska to buy diamonds or to stay close to the cruise ship. This might come as a shock, but Alaska is also known for their salmon. I know, I thought all salmon lived in giant warehouses too.
The weather was overcast upon arrival, but quickly transitioned to sunny and warm. Perfect conditions to explore. This was the only day of our trip I was able to wear a tshirt. I actually didn’t even bring a jacket with me, because #minimalist. Actually this was a huge mistake, and I was thankful the cruise ship had jackets.
When I travel I like to get a feel for the city by foot, so we walked around a bit before disembarking on our adventures for the day. We walked along Married Man’s trail, saw the salmon ladder, and into a small area of Ketchikan called Creek Street, also known as the red light district.
It’s here where some of the oldest buildings reside perched on pilings forming a boardwalk. During prohibition Creek Street was the place to go for smuggled whiskey and prostitutes. “It’s where more men – than fish – went upstream to spawn!!”
The western feel of the buildings reminded me of Disneyland, I was immediately in heaven.
Disney fans, does that not remind you of Frontierland? I mean common.
After stretching our legs we were ready for our chosen excursions. When planning a cruise you have the option to book day trips, also known as excursions, ahead of time. We opted for a different approach to our adventures, and didn’t plan a damn thing prior to leaving for our trip.
For starters, we had no agenda other than “see Alaska.”
There are so many options it can be overwhelming to choose. Most importantly, and this wasn’t discovered until we were on the trip – there is a chance you’ll miss your appointment times due to unplanned late arrivals into each port. To eliminate the stress of “having to be somewhere at a certain time,” and to have a clear view of all the options – we chose each cities adventures upon arrival.
You’ll wind up paying a bit more if you do it this way, but spending a few more bucks for peace of mind was fine by us. Err, fine by my dad because he paid for everything. Bless his soul. One of our Ketchikan adventures consisted of a drive outside of the city into the rural wilderness with the goal of seeing a bear.
Spoiler alert: we saw a bear.
I don’t remember the company we went through, but our host was local and a wealth of Alaskan/Klickitat knowledge. I liked our host because he encouraged us to drink out of one of the local streams. My goal of “learn more about each other” with my dad provided him a look into my adventurous spirit. Or as he will tell you, “Brittany’s attempt at contracting giardia.”
I couldn’t come to Alaska and not drink some of the water.
For our other Ketchikan experience we went suuuuppperrr tourist – The Great Alaska Lumberjack Show. I had secret motives of finding my future husband, because apparently Alaska has way more men than women. My loyal readers know I’m working on manifesting my future lumberjack husband.
What can I say, my husband will have the ability to build me a tiny house while wearing red flannel and getting wood chips stuck in his beard.
The show was entertaining, but the boys were much too young and way too beardless.
For sustenance we nourished our souls with local salmon (I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much salmon then on this trip) while soaking up the sun. According to the locals, Ketchikan accumulates significantly more rain than Seattle. We just happened to be there on the one sunny and hot day of the year. No complaints.
With bellies full of fresh Alaskan fish, and souls full of wonderful adventure we made our way back to the ship for a night of rest before our next adventure.
Q: Would you rather: whale watch, see bears in their natural habitat, or watch grown men compete in unique sports? The lumberjack show was a legit competition, and some of these guys got college scholarships for lumberjack sports. WHO KNEW!?