When traveling up the Inside Passage to Alaska, Ketchikan is the first major port that travelers visit. Ketchikan is located on a small island and was originally an Indian fishing camp. This is a popular destination due to its superb fishing, native culture, and outdoor heritage.
First we head for an excursion of salmon fishing. Here we fish on the beautiful scenic waterway, catch the plentiful salmon, then head to shore where they have it prepared to be packaged to take back home. Of course, there is also a campfire on shore waiting with delicious, fresh salmon cooked to perfection. The only thing that could make this better would be the appearance of a bear hungry for a meal. Everyone wants to see a bear while they are in Alaska, but not at close range.
Next we are fascinated to see the world’s oldest collection of totem poles at Totem Bight State Park, a former Indian campsite. Each totem is carved to tell the family story. Often they have a fish being held to ensure that the family will have a good food supply. The top of the totem frequently has an eagle or thunderbird to watch over the home and protect it from harm. There are carvers at work so you can see how totems are made and perhaps want to purchase one to have shipped back to your home.
The Tlingt Indian Clan House was an interesting meeting place for the Indian tribe. Now traditional Native dances are performed inside the clan house at designated times. It has been kept in good repair and at the front has a Living Door, said to bring good luck to all who pass through it. Had to have a picture taken going through the door.
At one end of town is Creek Street,the goldminers’ Red Light District. Here you can tour a brothel or just walk the criss cross streets along the water’s edge. It is intriguing to imagine the goldminers in the early 1900s coming back from the mountains and spending their evenings along these same streets you are walking. Many of the buildings are original but perhaps slightly refurbished.
Living here would not be for the frail of body and spirit as there are steep steps everywhere leading up the mountainside to homes and businesses. It is a beautiful town where kayaks and sea planes are the best way to travel. No roads lead out of Ketchican!