Sunday, July 22, 2012

July 19 - Ketchikan

Randy has been fighting a cold, so he stayed in this morning. Bryn, Reed and Bret went into Ketchikan and caught a cab to the Totem Heritage Center. It houses and preserves old totem poles rescued from abandoned Indian villages. They also have a gallery devoted to traditional crafts made during the year, when Haida, Tlingit, and Tsimshian artists pass on their crafts to the next generation.

Across the creek from this is the Deer Mountain Tribal Hatchery and Eagle Center. We learned about and saw bald eagles, and examples of all types of salmon. In the hatchery, we were told about the stages of salmon development, and saw thousands in one of the pools. There was a fish ladder, and spawning salmon return to this spot to breed. This tribal enterprises releases hundreds of thousands of young salmon into Ketchikan creek every year.

We took a shuttle back to the ship and met Randy for lunch. At 1 p.m., we went back into town and saw the Great American Lumberjack Show. It was exciting to watch the various activities like axe throwing and log rolling, and the boys liked cheering on their team and booing the other team. Following this, we took a bus up to Totem Bight State Park. This was originally the site of a Tlingit village. During the Great Depression, the CCC recreated a plank house and many types of totem poles. Our tour included an enthusiastic guide who had fun telling the interesting stories about the various poles. We took a quick visit to a trading post with an antique gun collection. Bret was excited about seeing the largest caliber sporting rifle ever made, it was 1 of only 7 made. We returned to the ship at 5 pm, and were eating dinner at 6 pm when we set sail again. Reed's group was going to have a formal evening, so he returned early as we didn't bring formal clothes. Reed's reward was to see an eagle swoop down and snag a fish out of the water. Bret was off having fun and returned about 10 p.m.

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