alaska: ketchikan

Ketchikan, our first stop, is and has always been primarily a salmon town. But it’s a salmon town with a lot of nature. Our excursion here took us to the Alaska Rainforest Gardens (did you know Alaska has a rainforest? Second largest in the world, after the Amazon – the Tongass National Forest touched all three towns we visited, it’s that big) and out to the end of the island to eat Dungeness crab and drink beer at 9 am.

The Tongass National Forest is astonishing – it was landscape unlike any other I’ve seen. I could have spent days with a macro lens just taking pictures of moss.

We also got to see the work and work in progress of several Alaska Native totem artists (both Tlingit, a now-retired uncle and his nephew who currently works out of the Rainforest Center) and while I missed both the totem parks in Ketchikan, due to time, it’s just an excuse to go back. (Check my Atlas Obscura list for everywhere I wanted to get, even if I didn’t get to all of them!)

Ketchikan also has a very famous street, with cute houses hung over a creek – Creek Street. It was, it is said, where both salmon and men came upstream to spawn. I did not buy any of you t-shirts with that slogan. Say thank you or yell at me as you wish.

Our tour ate up a lot of time, and I think of all the places we visited, Ketchikan is the one I most want to go back to spend a lot more time in.

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