Day 4: Ketchikan, Alaska

I set my alarm for what I thought would be the sunrise, only to sleep in until the loud, british voice woke me up over the ship’s intercom to let me know we’d safely docked in Ketchikan. Having not seen much in the way of land for 2 days at sea, I excitedly turned on what I’ve come to call Ship TV – my fake window into the great outdoors – to see a promise of sun and mountains and wildlife.

I decided to let Faye sleep in and found a comfortable spot at my mother’s namesake’s O’Brien’s cafe for an off ship Irish Coffee and blogging time. The New York Hotel is next door and I’m drawn to an official looking historical plaque which summarizes the hotel’s history. Started by a Japanese family who was sent away to an interment camp after Pearl Harbor, the hotel stayed open and was returned to the family after they were able to return home, along with the profits. What a beautiful town, I decided at the moment.

Less sincere is Creek Street, which boasts itself as the place where “Salmon -and- Men go upstream to spawn.” A curvy woman in red greets the droves of tourists in front of a former brothel and we weave through families watching salmon climb rapids and trying our best to ignore the odor of dead fish. Here at the top of the streams, is where the salmon spawn and die. And while I know this to be true, I’ve never seen so many dead fish and can understand one kid’s confusion and laugh at his mother’s response. “That, my dear, is global warming.”

With some cell phone coverage, I’m able to share one of the many pictures I will take in Alaska. Ever since visiting the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, BC, I’ve been in love with First Nation art and this place is crawling with totem poles, sketches and regional art of the flavor.

Luckily, Faye and I had booked an excursion for the afternoon that would take us away from the crowds and into kayaks and a fjord. We spot bald eagles, a seal and race fellow kayakers, taking advantage of an upper body workout opportunity we won’t get for the rest of the trip.

Overall, my first day in Alaska has been a wild success and I’m excited for the next few days of (Nebr)Alaskan Adventure.

Extra: Today* is Day 28, Post 24 of my 30 day blog challenge. Click ‘Follow’ at the bottom of the page to receive weekly updates in your inbox or follow me on Tumblr if that’s your scene.

* Living on a boat for 10 days, I had limited access to the internet so post-dating my entries for the date written (vs the date actually uploaded).

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