Monday, July 23, 2012

205/366 Ketchikan ~ Day 6

This morning, as we sailed south through the Clarence Strait, we cruised by the Guard Island Lighthouse, north of Ketchikan. We have seen quite a few lighthouses on our trip, some still in operation, as this one is, and some that are not. Staying on an island for months at a time seems pretty bleak to me!

We began our Ketchikan shore excursion at Saxman Village where there is one of the world's largest collections of totem poles! 

Hmmm... one of the first lessons a photographer learns: make sure there is nothing coming out of the head of your subject!
I think it kinda works though, don't you?

We continued on to George Inlet, where we walked a short way
through the rainforest to the historic Libby Cannery.

Men and women toiled day and night to harvest and process the abundant Alaskan Salmon. 
"In Ketchikan's early days, a "fish pirate" was something of a hero to the workingmen of the town. Canneries obtained large amounts of fish by capturing them in mechanical floating traps. Ketchikan fishermen considered these traps to be a threat to their livelihood, and any means to swindle the canneries was discreetly celebrated. Even when the canneries hired watchmen to guard the traps, they were pilfered, either by cunning or a simple bribe to the watchman to take a stroll. Many a fish pirate would steal salmon and sell those same fish back to the cannery he had just robbed! Witnesses could never seem to be found, and sympathetic juries often released scoundrels who were caught. The hardy days of pirating ended with statehood in 1959, when traps were deemed illegal." - exclusive 
Watchmen would stay weeks, sometimes months in huts like this, guarding the traps.

After the salmon was canned, it was cooked inside large steamers,
before being labeled and shipped all over the world.

We next boarded a boat that would take us through the inlet and the Tongrass Narrows, where we saw an abundance of wildlife.
This Bald Eagle looks so regal seated atop the tree; I wish I could have had sharper focus.

In Alaska, more often than not, glaciers, mountains, and rain forests come right to the water, with little to no beaches.
We were able to see starfish clinging to the rock at the edge of the rainforest!

Following our tour, we walked around in downtown Ketchikan, and, of course we went by the Episcopal Church, St. John's.
The church was finished in 1904, and was the first church, of any denomination, in Ketchikan.

We enjoyed a late lunch at the Fish Pirate's Saloon! FYI, all that beer is not mine. :o)

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