Ketchikan – the Alaskan playground!

We excitedly welcomed back the sunshine and warm temperatures as we headed into Ketchikan! Our ship’s balcony faced out into the waters rather than the port side and it was the way more entertaining option.  The first thing I heard when I woke up was the humming and roaring of airplane engines. I jumped out of bed, grabbed my camera, and ran onto the balcony. To my left were ten float planes lined up to land right at my feet in the water with various fishing boats headed towards the planes in the water.

Ketchikan KetchikanFloaterPlane

How fun these were to watch! Growing up near the insane O’Hare Airport in Chicago has made me highly aware of how busy the skies can be; however O’Hare has nothing on the airplane activity in Ketchikan! Since I didn’t see a control tower anywhere, I concluded that these pilots have a great communication system and respect for each other to orchestrate their takeoffs and landings. I sat there and just watched the water traffic for hours before it was time to check out the town!

One of the main attractions in Ketchikan is Creek Street. It’s not only the shopping district, but it used to be the red light district featuring Dolly’s where good times were guaranteed.

“I realized I could make a lot more money from the attentions of men than I could waiting tables.” – Dolly Arthur

KetchikanCreekStreet2 KetchikanCreekStreet

KetchikanCreek

Ketchikan also has amazing art studios and galleries! The streets are lined with Alaskan heritage attractions and a bustling port!

KetchikanWelcome KetchikanTotem KetchikanPort KetchikanCrazyWolf

I even got Dad to sit with a couple of friends he made while walking around the shops near the pier.

KetchikanDadBears

I think when I come back to Alaska it will be a longer trip because I would like to spend more time here enjoying the blue waters and sunshine!

KetchikanSailboat KetchikanBlueWater

Ketchikan was our last port to visit. The remainder of our trip would be wandering through islands and bays as we make our way to Vancouver!

Juneau

When we arrived in Juneau, we were continuing on our misty cloudy days. It was damp and cool but really not uncomfortable at all. Juneau…you can only get into and out of Juneau by boat or plane. Who knew?? When we first pulled in I could not believe how many boats there were. After learning about the only way in and out, it makes perfect sense!

JuneauHarbor

We were originally planning to take a helicopter to Mendenhall Glacier on this day, but the fog was way too low for the ‘copters to fly so we wound up taking a bus to the glacier but we would no longer be able to stand on it. Sigh. First, we trammed out way up to Mt. Roberts!

JuneauTram2

JuneauMtRobertsFog

We measured our wing spans, saw eagles, watched a totem be carved, and learned about the signs that are carved in the trees around the area. The particular native sign on the tree below asks viewers to stop and find the reason why this place is so special.

JuneauWingSpanDad JuneauMtRobertsTree JuneauMtRobertsTotemCarving

After Mt. Roberts we boarded a bus to head to Mendenhall! This was a must-see stop! Juneau is the governmental capital of Alaska although there is rumors amongst the locals that they may transfer this back to Anchorage. There is fear by the people of Juneau because it may then ruin the city of Juneau if most of their population leaves town.

Mendenhall Glacier is currently retreating and it was about 60 degrees when we were there. It was such a beautiful place!

MendenhallGlacierDistance

MendenhallGlacier

MendenhallMomandDad2

MendenhallDanandCatie

Onto our last port….Ketchikan!

 

 

All aboard the Alaska Railroad!

We boarded the train at Denali National Park and we are off to Whittier, Alaska! It is a ten hour train ride in a glass top train car. It was such a great way to travel and there was an open area on the bottom level of the car for us photography nuts…thankfully!  This blog post has no funny stories really….just so many great views and colors of green!

TraintoWhittierCornering

TraintoWhittierStream TraintoWhittierRiver2 TraintoWhittierRiver TraintoWhittierMountainStream TraintoWhittierLake TraintoWhittierGlacierDistance TraintoWhittierGlacier TraintoWhittierDenali TraintoWhittierCreek TraintoWhittierBog2 TraintoWhittierBog

Finally….our ship!

OurShip