Alaskas Cruise town

Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
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Trip End Jan 31, 2012


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Where I stayed
ketchikan youth hostel

Flag of United States  , Alaska
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ferry to Ketchikan

Caught the ferry just before lunch from Wrangell to Ketchikan. Once again spent time on the solarium deck but also in the lounge area since the weather was crap and couldnt see much more than clouds on the horizon. Nice and relaxing time. Would have liked to have spent more time on the ferries (ie ferry to bellingham) if the schedule hadnt left me stranded in ketchikan for so long.

Since it was Friday and the bus near the campground that went into the town didnt run on the weekend, Had a choice to make. Head to the camp ground for 3 days or into town. Decided to spend the time in the hostel since the weather wasnt that great and I wasnt sure whether I was going to be able to hang my food somewhere.

Nice enough hostel and even though it had a bed decided to sleep on my sleeping mat since the springs were so loose.

Day 1

Lots of clouds and a bit of rain so decided not to hike or pay for a taxi out to the campground. Decided a day hike in the general area at some later point would have to do. Visited the local museum which had a number of interesting exibits about the local history and culture. After the rain eased up a bit headed down to the historical part of town (creek street) where a lot of the older town houses had been converted into tourist shops.

Had a nice enough walk along the streets and creek in this part of town and saw lots of salmon swimming in the creek. Guess they're heading back towards the hatchery that originally released them into the creek and out to sea. Even saw a seal swimming around chasing them near the lower part of the creek. Further up creek, observed the salmon jumping out of the water trying to clear the small falls in the creek.

Headed by bus to a supermarket that was a bit out of downtown though still in town, given it stretchs a fair way along the coast line. Decided to walk back and take in some of the views along the shore line.

Definately have to say that this is a tourist town. Lots of shops and lots of taxis around the place. I guess the fact that up to 6 cruise ships can be docked at the town on any given day means the high tourist to local ratio shouldnt be unexpected.

Day 2

Raining quite heavily in the morning so spent it stuffing around on my laptop. In the afternoon the rain let up a bit so decided to walk through creek street again and up to the totem museum. Had a few interesting totems in it and a bit of history about how the local natives use them to tell stories or mark special events. Had considered doing the walk up the mountain today but given the crappy weather decided against it.

Instead, headed back to the harbour where I saw the salmon jumping up into the air and out of the water. Also saw a number of people standing on the bridge trying to catch them. Walked around the main harbour and town area for a bit before calling it a day.

Spent the afternoon chatting with a New Zealander and Aussie who were working in Canada and doing a 5 day kiyak trip in the area.

Day 3

Buses out towards the camp site area running today but since I need to fly out earlish tommorrow, decided to stay in the hostel since it made life easier. Did catch the bus though or at least planned to. Bus ended up being full and since I didnt want to loose to much hike time, decided to share a cab with some tourists from a cruise ship who were also unable to get on the bus.

Started out by visiting the National State Totem park which was about an hour drive from town. Nice little forest full of totem poles and a native meeting house. Also some nice views of the coast line and ocean. Spent about an hour wandering about then headed to the bus stop to catch the bus back to the spot I wanted to hike.

Initially hiked along the road to the ward lake campsite I had originally been thinking of staying at but upon getting there found found a shorter more direct route via a trail at the back of the campsite. Started out by wandering around the Ward Lake. Lots of huge trees which I would guess had to also be old trees. Recon it would take 3-4 of me to link arms around some of the bigger ones.

Also occurred to me that the reason you get the trees with the funky looking roots above ground is due to the dact that new trees start to grow on the old stumps. As the stump decays, all that left is the roots that had been growing through and around the stup resulting in a hole under the tree trunk.

Enjoyed walking around in the trees and seeing all the liken/litchen and moss growing on them. Had originally planned to hike the perserverance trail but found that it had been closed for maintenance. Decided to instead head up the stream along the creek trail to lake conelly. Nice trail. Again with lots of old trees. Also liked the lake shore of lake conelly and wandered down the path a bit further but unfortunatley it quickly moved away from the lake. Would have liked to have travelled further up the trail but unfortunatley had to get back in order to catch the bus back to town.

To make life more interesting, decided to head back down to the trail I had seen by the campsite via the savage trail. Again lots of nice tress but this time not so old growth and certainly a different species.

Ended up busing it back to town and chatting with the Aussie/new Zealiand couple who were living in Canada and spending 5 days kyaking in the nearby park.
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