Kamikaze in Ketchikan
Trip Start Apr 30, 2009
17Trip End Jun 05, 2009
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The highlight of Alaska for us was the floatplane adventure we took with our personal pilot Dave, today in Ketchikan.
There are a lot of photos and mini-movies on this page to help you understand the beauty and share the experience. Going kamikaze in Ketchikan was amazing!
It was a gorgeous day. The sun was out in Ketchikan, where they average over 3 feet of rain a year, which is apparently why it's the 'salmon capital'. We could see for miles and miles. In our little plane with its cute little floatplane feet, we were in the air for over two hours, with a stop at Misty Fjords. This special place was declared a national monument by President Jimmy Carter to preserve its beauty.
Dave landed the plane on the water (because you can do that in a floatplane) and suddenly we had an entire lake to ourselves. It was perfectly quiet except for a stream bringing water into the lake from the mountains. We scooped up icy cold mountain stream water to drink and then took off over the rocks for an impromptu geology lesson with Dave (Might I add how well my faux fur boots did 'in situ' - definitely a better choice than heels or thongs and I'm plenty pleased I waterproofed them with that spray...) Brad scooted up the mountain like one of those goats and brought back snow. We couldn't keep that as a souvenir, so Dave chose us out a little rock each.
Once we were back up in the air (pretty cool taking off on the water!) Dave showed us where he fishes for trout when the ice on the lakes melt, and the place where he keeps an eye on a mummy brown bear who gave birth to triplets last year. We also zoomed over a waterfall, did some laps to view orca 'disturbance', discussed sustainable logging and salmon and learned all about the different 'pretty Alaskan trees' (they have names apparently, like cypress, spruce, hemlock, cedar and fir). Still no live moose. They live further north, although we're starting to think that Sarah Palin just invented them to boost the sale of stuffed toys in Alaskan cruise port stores!
In all it was pretty surreal, being up there with our own private pilot, being shown around the iced lakes and staggering fjords and landing on a totally serene lake. Dave was fabulous and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. If you ever get to Ketchikan, go into the air to see it properly (www.familyairtours.com) Zoom, zoom, zoom!
So, after a perfect day, we sailed away from Ketchikan to a beautiful sunset, sitting on our verandah watching dolphins and whales flip with a background of ever-present snow-capped mountains. We've decided that our Pacific Rim cruise experience can now be complete (except for the moose...) Yes, we're feeling very spoiled.
See you in San Francisco!