Trip Start May 20, 2009
Trip End Jun 02, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Sunday, May 24, 2009

An early morning today in Ketchikan, which is a community of over 13,000 people and has the largest collection of totem poles in the world. We were met at the "Rain Gauge" by Shona from Island Wings. We had four other people with us for the excursion, a mother and three teenagers from Oklahoma City. Shona's daughter is a fifth-generation Alaskan, and her great-grandfather was a builder who built several different well known buildings in Ketchikan, including the Sour Dough Bar. It was so interesting to hear her talk about her history there.

Shona drove us to the Island Wings office and we saw our plane and pilot, Michelle. LJ was our co-pilot for the flight, I felt completely safe!

Ketchikan and Juneau are two cities that have no roads into or out of the towns. All the access is by boat or plane. Michelle went for a summer job to Alaska and never left. She said it's the best job in the world and we could quickly tell how much she loves what she does. The experience was surreal.

It seemed like there was no way what we were seeing was real. It was dramatic, gorgeous and quite difficult to put into words. We flew into Misty Fjords National Monument, which is a 2.3 million acre landscape carved by massive glaciers. There were granite cliffs over 3,000 feet tall, snow covered mountains and beautiful lakes. LJ took over 700 photos just this morning alone!

Afterwards Shona gave us a ride back to the ship where we dropped off some camera gear and headed back out to see Ketchikan. We walked around and ended up at Creek Street, ending up in Creek Street, a very historic part of town. This area was built up on docks and during prohibition, liquor would be smuggled in via boat and brought up under the docks which had trap doors - a special knock and the door would open for a special delivery! Also here were the bordellos. There is even a 'married men's trail' which was the trail the men took from their homes down to the bordellos. There is still a house there, "Dolly's" which offers a $5 tour, it was pretty busy when we arrived there and a very small house so we skipped it. We rode the funicular up the mountain and had lunch,

We did some quick shopping and made our way back to the ship because today was our shortest day in port, we had to be back on board at 2:30 PM. Our Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle was at 4 PM so we were able to meet everyone we had been chatting with for the last year, well mainly LJ chatting and me reading. We took a great group photo, they gave out several door prizes and some of us participated in a gift exchange and scrapbook swap.

After the M&M, we had just about an hour before our dinner at Chops. Chops is one of the specialty restaurants on board, it is an additional charge but very worth it. It is a steak house, similar to a Ruths Chris. We had dinner with Patrick and Shannon, another couple LJ met on CC, and had a great time visiting with them. We had a table by the window and were blessed with seeing several whales during dinner - talk about scenery!

Dinner was delicious and Patrick & Shannon were celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary, which was fun to share with them. Afterwards we all decided to try our luck at Blackjack for a bit. We ended being up$10 so we counted that as a success and headed to bed.
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Annette on

Nice blog, thanks for sharing. What is the scrapbook exchange?

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