Ketchikan, Alaska

Trip Start Jul 04, 2013
Trip End Jul 21, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Monday, July 8, 2013

Today was our first day in port. We arrived early in the port of Ketchikan, Alaska. We were up early so we could have some breakfast before heading ashore for a day of visiting the Totem Bight State Park and the All American Lumberjack Show. Breakfast was the usual breakfast buffet in the Horizon's Court. We sat with a very nice man who invited us to join him at a table by the window. We had a nice chat about our plans for the day. He was going to go on a flight-seeing tour of Misty Fjords.

The ship does a great job assisting us with Dad, in general, and when we leave the ship on the gang planks, they wheel him all the way off the ship. As we disembarked this morning, the weather was a bit on the rainy side so we all had our rain jackets on. The forecast was not expected to improve, but this is typical Southeastern Alaska weather.

So, after breakfast, we left the ship and boarded a bus. Our driver introduced himself as Rusden. He comes from Arizona and is currently a student putting both himself and his little sister through college. He shared with us that a splurge for him and his sister is to go to McDonalds and order something off of the Dollar Menu. Most everything else went to paying for school. Little did we know that that was just one of the many stories Rusden would share with us throughout the day! We were ready to go and headed to the Great American Lumberjack Show. It was a quick bus ride over to the show and we soon found ourselves seated (covered and heated seating!) and ready for the show. The show includes several different challenges between two rival logging camps, one from the USA and one from Canada, Eh! The audience was split in half; one half was to root for the U.S. lumberjacks, while the other side rooted for the Canadians. We were told an old lumberjack saying was "Yo Ho" and heard that repeatedly throughout the show.

The show included various challenges involving cutting logs, speed climbing up a pole, axe throwing, and log rolling. All were fun and entertaining. There was plenty of shenanigans and banter in the show and, if you asked the ladies, the lumberjacks were not too painful to look at either. After the show, the ladies had an opportunity to have their pictures taken with the lumberjacks – Yo Ho!!!

From the lumberjack show, we boarded the bus again for the ride out to Totem Bight State Park. It was a pleasant drive and we got to hear more stories from Rusden along the way. Totem Bight was put on the itinerary to give the group a chance to see the totem poles, but also to learn something about the native cultures. We did certainly learn a lot about the native culture and how they lived, but also learned more than we ever expected, as Rusden simply loved to talk. Apparently, they don’t let him give too many tours (only about once every week or two) so when he gets the chance, he has a lot to say! He even went so far as to bake us cookies the night before (the cookies were actually quite good too).

After the tour, we returned to the ship. We didn’t get to spend too much time in Ketchikan, as the ship was leaving by 2 p.m. We were told that we would be entering a great area for whales this afternoon, so we decided to head to the rear of the ship where there would be easy access to both sides of the ship for the whale viewing. There was a naturalist on board the ship and he was giving everyone updates on any sightings that they had. Through the afternoon, we spotted quite a few whales, saw some stellar sea lions, and Dall’s porpoises. It was a fun afternoon of looking for the wildlife!

For dinner, we enjoyed the Santa Fe Restaurant. We were given a great table right by the window. While having dinner, we decided we would go to see Sarge (the comedian) in the Princess Theater tonight. He had promised it would be all new material and he was pretty funny last night, so we thought we would go for some more laughs! Well, he did not disappoint and in addition to the comedy, he mixed in a few songs as well – didn’t see that coming! It was a great end to a great day!
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