Exploring Ketchikan on Foot

“Catch me if you can, Ketchikan!”

This pretty little city in Alaska was the first stop on our seven-day cruise. As the sun rose that morning and we were already getting ready to dock, we could see colorful houses dotting the hillside, boats anchored by the port or out to sea, a wide expanse of evergreens and snow capped mountains in the distance.

Postcard perfect.

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We only had less than six hours to spend here. Crazy ship scheduling making us rush through our tour, but we were at the ship’s mercy so we had no choice but to improvise. How do we make the most of Ketchikan?

There were lots of activities to do and things to see that it was almost close to impossible to narrow it down to doing only the things that we REALLY wanted to do. But we wanted to do everything! That was the dilemma.

So, here’s our version of how we did it in under six hours.

First, go walk to the nearest visitor center for maps, travel tips and other information.

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Then, as you head on to your next destination, make sure you observe the scenery around you. Seeing new things with excitement, hearing the sounds of nature, breathing in the smell of pine trees and crisp cold air, tasting local food and most of all, be amazed at the beauty of God’s wonderful creations. Don’t forget to take photos!

salmon running

Our target destination was “The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show” to which we already pre-purchased tickets online. Look it up on Trip Advisor for reviews. We had a good time clapping and cheering for our teams, that’s for sure. And the stunts that these guys did, make you think twice about what being a lumberjack truly means.

It is also worthy to mention that some of the men here are eye candy of the rugged kind (think of Alaskan Bush People meet Alaska State Troopers ). Always makes it more interesting to watch!

lumberjack

The show was basically the only one that had a time schedule. The rest of our short itinerary for the day was mostly sightseeing and lots of walking.

The infamous Creek Street used to be a red light district with brothels lining Ketchikan Creek, now this historic boardwalk is turned into quaint charming stores and shops for visitors and locals.

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Ketchikan is known as the Salmon Capital of the World. When summer comes, thousands of salmon make the run upstream to spawn and die. We didn’t see a lot on the creek yet as the locals said the salmon are sometimes late for the season (salmon traffic jams maybe?) but in our later adventures, the boys get to actually FISH!

In the meantime, this little fella was putting on quite the show…

seal

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Ketchikan creek

After Creek Street, we just mostly walked wherever our feet led us and to whatever piqued our curiosity, exploring freestyle. We passed by this Totem Museum and saw lots of houses with totem poles in the backyard as well. A little google research showed that Ketchikan has the largest number of totem poles in Alaska.

totem

Other mundane things I discovered on our walk…

scoop it

Our little walking self tour of the city came to an end with just enough time for us to buy some souvenirs. Of course, we were breathless by the time we reached our ship.

And as our ship left the port, this was our view…

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“Catch me if you can, Ketchikan!”

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