On our "Duck" tour, our knowledgeable guide told us about the land shortage in Ketchikan. He told us to have a look at the Town, and to take note of how the roads, etc are built, and pointed one out.
To our amazement, it wasn't built on land, but was built out from the hillside on a wooden trestle.
Taking more note, we saw shed's were built out over the water, Creek street walkway was over the creek, and so on......
You wouldn't want any knee or leg problems either, quite a few homes built on the hillsides are only accessible by steep, staircase walkways.
Float plane is the way to move here, not by car!
Many people stop on these bridges to look in the creek... and if you're lucky you will see salmons swimming upstream the river! It's really cool to witness one of the many marvels of nature....
Fondest memory: Hmmm and did I mention that salmon is just DELICIOUS??? I'm sorry for the little fish because I love to see them alive, but it's also true that eating them is a pleasure too. The quality of the salmon sold here in Alaska is outstanding. We used to take a good amount of it back home every time we visited AK (smoked).
They say that all things are bigger in Texas, but I think the Alaskans might have one-upped them, at least when it comes to some types of wildlife and plants. In Ketchikan, because of the vast amount of rainfall and the extended hours of sunlight during the summer months, things tend to grow rather large. This includes trees, which as you would imagine grow to incredible heights, but also farmed products such as pumpkins (some of the world's largest pumpkins have been from here, weighing over 1000 pounds). Some animals also fit into this category, like the slug in the photo. This sucker was at least 7 inches long! Cute, isn't it?
(Photo is dedicated to Ms. Jen (CoAir13)
Favorite thing: Here is one kind of interesting thing that I learned about Ketchikan while I was there: The town and its surrounding area has a very high bedrock level, meaning that it is fairly close to the surface, and in addition to this the soil there is very sandy. Because of these factors, you will notice that many of trees in the forests often take root and grow on top of other trees for stability. When trees die they are left on the forest floor to become "nurse trees" for seedlings. It is an amazing sight to see trees growing on top of trees while hiking through an area. It's the first time I've ever seen anything like it.
Favorite thing: There's tons of things I liked about Ketchikan. You never have to walk to far to find good shopping, you can find some great places to eat, but most of all, it's a town surrounded by Alaskan wilderness. It's like something out of a postcard.
This town has plenty of totems scattered all over the place, sometimes in the most unlikely of spots. This was taken near the vicinity of Creek Street.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Ketchikan would be these totems, as well as Burger Queen. Also going to the internet place by the pier ha ha!
Ketchikan is located in rainforest. If you're lucky, you'll get the opportunity to see that the rain can be lovely in Southeast Alaska.
Fondest memory: It's kind of hard to level out the horizon on a small boat at sea. Clover Pass is at the "north" end of the Tongass Narrows leaving Ketchikan.
Every year something special is going on at 4th of July. There is usually a parade. One year some Scottish Bag Pipe players and highland dancers were in town at the city park.
Fondest memory: This picture shows the beauty of the City Park in Ketchikan. It is a tranquil, lovely area to sit a spell.
Ketchikan is where the Alaska Marine Highway has a lot of work down on the ferries during the off-months in the winter when traffic slows down.
Fondest memory: This is the M/V Bartlett, which is no longer part of the AMHS fleet. The State of Alaska sold the ferry to the highest bidder on E-Bay.
Or you'll see eagles out on the water getting food. This picture was taken not far from where the McDonald's drive-thru is at the Plaza, Ketchikan's mall.
Out in the Tongass Narrows the island that is visible is Pennock Island, the island that separates the Tongass Narrows into two channels right near downtown Ketchikan.
You'll get some of the best views of Ketchikan from on deck of a cruise ship. You'll be able to pick out the places to go before you can leave the ship.
The shops on this extended portion of the City Dock are designed for tourism. There are restaurants, art galleries, souvenier shops, that will keep you busy enough that before you know it the cruise ship will be blowing it's horn to remind you to reboard.
I got the chance to tour a ship parked behind this Holland America. I was amused that they take such good care of their guests that they wash the windows while in port so the tourists can have that much better view!
Fondest memory: Sometimes in the summer there are ships tied up at the City Dock, and in the Tongass Narrows. One day that I remember there were basically more tourists in town than residents... and Ketchikan is one of the largest cities in Alaska.
Thousands of visitors come to Ketchikan each summer on cruise ships. Some of the best pictures you'll get of the towns that you visit will be from the deck of the cruiseship.
Fondest memory: I love walking around on the docks. Here is a picture of Thomas Basin from a ship anchored at the City Dock.
I read on the Understanding Totem Poles section, which I put in the general tips in this section, that frogs were placed on totem poles to keep them from falling down.
I'm wondering why this poor little frog is on there being held up by it's legs!
Favorite thing: As you approach Ketchikan on board of the cruise ship you will get to see many of these TOTEMS (actually you will see many of them almost anywhere you go in Alaska) which were made by the natives a long time ago and which size is amazing!