We awoke on the 3rd day to find ourselves in the port of Ketchican, AK. Over breakfast I pointed out the location of the (in)famous "Bridge to Nowhere" which was to be built in the city. As predicted the weather was craptacular with low clouds and rain. Kitty, Scritch, and I said, "Heck with it!" and hit the streets. It was a glorious feeling to step off the ship and realize, "Hey! I'm finally in Alaska!" During the weeks leading up to the trip I had taken many virtual tours of the town using Google Street View. Now I was actually there! We decided to just walk and walk and walk. We had a very limited time in port and we wanted to make the most of the time we had. It only took a few minutes to walk through the town since we really were not interested in trinkets or jewelry. We found ourselves near the Totem Pole Interpretive Center, so we made a trip up there. It was a nice small museum with a few displays of old totem poles rescued from the region. The most interesting thing, however, was a small stream outside that had salmon swimming upstream to spawn. We also noted a whole bunch of salmon in a river that ran through downtown.
We kept walking until we came to a funicular which lead to a lodge on top of a hill overlooking the town. A couple told us there was a trail that lead through the woods back into town, so we took it. It was a very nice walk. We kept walking until we found what we called "The Exorcist Stairs." You have to see the original movie to know what we're talking about. I included a pic later on. When we reached the top I heard a familiar bird cry. I whipped out the binos and found 2 bald eagles perched high in a tree not too far away. Yes, I once again thought about lanakila *lol* We ended up back downtown and decided it was time for a beer. We found a nice pub and discovered the tasty joy of Alaskan IPA. By the time we had finished the weather turned even more crappy. We decided to head on back to the ship. We stopped at another bar on the way back because a particular sign caught my interest. See pics to see what that was.
We departed in the early afternoon and I watched from our vantage point on top of the bridge. It was a bit unnerving to be escorted out of the port by 2 small Coast Guard ships with armed soldiers on the bows.
The next day we arrived in Juneau. This was the 1st day I had planned a shore excursion. Scritch, myself, my sis, and my bro-in-law went deep sea fishing. A van took us to a small harbor north of town where we hopped aboard a small fishing boat. The captain took us a few miles offshore where we would fish for halibut. I got completely shut out. My bro-in-law also ended up with bupkis although he at least caught an ugly mo-fo sculpin-like fish that our guide said was not even worth keeping for crab trap bait. Scritch and my sis ended up being the big winners of the day, each catching a halibut. My sis also snagged a few flounder, but once again, the guide said they were lousy eating.
After the fishing trip we all ended up meeting in downtown Juneau. Well...everyone except poor Quentin. He made the mistake of telling sick bay that he had diarrhea. They immediately confined him to quarters until they were sure he was not contagious. I'll let him tell the story in his own LJ. The rest of us had a good time exploring the small downtown. It also provided the first memorable quote of the trip which cracked me up:
Albear: "Carol, can I have a piece of gum"
Dexter Fox: "Al! Did you chug that vodka?!?"
The Exorcist stairs. 115 of them to be exact
2nd most awesome beer pull evar! (although we preferred the IPA to the White)
Down the street this sign caught my eye. Hmmmmm. I wonder why. *snerk*
THE most awesome beer pull!
Pic from the formal night mentioned in the previous post. The furry mafia!
Scritch and his fish
I loved this ad. Found in Juneau.
Albear and friend near the AK capital
Weird and intriguing mural in Juneau
Downtown Juneau. Note how the topography gets very vertical very quickly.