Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ketchikan {Lone Star to Last Frontier, 2015}

For the backstory, please see the post, "Courage, Dear Heart!" This post is mostly photos, so e-mail readers may prefer to view the Web version of Ketchikan {Lone Star to Last Frontier, 2015}.

Our first port of call on our Alaskan cruise was the island town of Ketchikan. This was a short day in port, so we only had enough time to capture the look of the city and buy warmer clothes and family gifts before our excursion. The contrast of brightly colored buildings against the mizzle and mountain background made my eyes happy.








Our first eagle sighting was atop a light pole.
My parents, Amore, and I spent most of our Ketchikan time on a small boat viewing eagles, totems, and a lighthouse. At least, those were the billed attractions. A few other critters joined the party to add to the fun. The drizzle continued the whole time, but it didn't dampen our spirits.


Humpback whale fluke


The juvenile bald eagles lack the white head and golden beak






Two juvenile bald eagles with their breakfast
The locals call the structure in the next photo "The Bridge to Nowhere." The state government canceled funding mid-project but didn't authorize a demo budget either.


Grey heron
 
Eagles' nest, center frame
 Next we sailed past the Totem Village, where tribal meetings still take place:




Our guides told us that "low man on the totem pole," taken literally, is actually a compliment. The importance of the person represented decreases as you go up, not down.






Eagle's nest hidden amid the foliage
 Scattered houses dotted the shoreline.


Next we came upon the lighthouse and more humpback whales:

Coffee and hot chocolate was a must in the cool, wet weather












A colony of harbor seals surprised us. Their coloration blended in with their rocky hangout, so that they almost looked like additional rocks themselves.




A few sea lions poked their noses up nearby, too:


On the way back to the dock where we started, we passed more eagles' nests.









As we sailed away in early afternoon, the sun came out and dappled the hills while we watched Orcas play.





All in all, it was a beautiful day.