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Cruise: Day 7 – Ketchikan

September 13, 2010

Or: we really should use the good sense God gave us.

Today is Ketchikan, and we’re only here for the morning. Our excursion to Totem Bight is scheduled to leave at 9 a.m., so if we want to do any shopping, it has to be early. I rouse Aud bright and early, and we manage to get breakfast and go ashore by 7:30. It’s raining. Hard. And constantly.

Still, we have a job to do: we must shop. And we do. Once we finish some souvenir shopping, I decide we have time to go to Creek Street, the street that used to be lined with brothels. I want to go to the Soho Coho Gallery to get a t-shirt I had seen online, with a fish drawing and “Alaska, for the halibut” on it. Or maybe the one that says “There’s no nookie like chinookie.” What can I say, the artist appeals to me.

Anyway, I’m practically trotting Mom up to Creek Street in the pouring rain. My charley horse is still present, so I have quite a unique gate. I get to the gallery, and they don’t have the shirt I want in stock. Wah! So I do the next best thing: I pose Mom on the bridge, totally covered by her poncho in an attempt to avoid the rain. I try to point out to her all the salmon teeming in the creek. Bless her heart, she didn’t smack me like she should have!

We head back to the pier to catch the excursion, but pass a store called KetchiCandies, so I make a detour inside after parking Mom under an awning. (When we get home, she decides she wants all the chocolate I bought, including what I had bought for Charlie – if anyone gets to Ketchikan, I owe Charlie some chocolates!).

Finally, we get out of the rain and onto the bus for the trip to Totem Bight Park. On the way, the rain lessens a little, at least for a little while. We go first into the carving shed, to see a native artist at work. The totem she’s working on is a commission, and it’s 32 feet long.

We then head to the park itself for the tour. The path here is better than the one at Sitka, and it’s easier to push. The guide keeps stopping to talk about flora and fauna: hello, it’s raining! (Don’t we look cute in our ponchos?)

We hear about some of the totems, and then go into a replica of a clan house, where four or five families would live together. All we care about is that it’s dry.

When we go outside, the skies have opened again. We listen for a few more minutes of totem stories, then I break from the group and head back to the bus on our own, sanity having prevailed.

It's not often you can actually see the rain in a photo!


Mark it on your calendars: Mom opts not to go into a gift shop! I convince her that it’s better if she takes her time to get into the bus and get settled, not to mention dried off a little, and she agrees.

When we get back to the pier area, to add insult to injury, there’s a large line waiting to get back on board. When we get to the ramp, a crew member takes over Mom’s wheelchair, which is a good thing, given my general state and the incline of the ramp!  Finally we’re back in the cabin. The ponchos did a great job of keeping us mostly dry, except for our lower legs and feet, and whatever trickled down our backs when the hoods fell down. We lunch at the Lido, greeting Agus like a long-lost relative, and then Mom takes a nap while I do laundry in the self-service laundry room on deck three. They close off the outdoor access on this deck due to the high winds and general miserable conditions.

Tonight is the second and final formal night. We look at the main dining room menu, and again decide to forego it. But we do get gussied up for a formal portrait. Don’t laugh, I look like I’m getting goosed; trust me, it was the best of the bunch. Well, there was a better pic, but my head looked ginormous, a big old melon.

We head back up to the Lido for some ice cream, and then into our jammies for tonight’s movie: The Princess Diaries 2.


From → Alaska, Elder travel

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