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Posts Tagged ‘crab. George Inlet Lodge’

Our first day in Alaska did not disappoint. Ketchikan, the southernmost city in Alaska and the salmon capital of the world, is, in a word, be-you-ti-ful. (You have to say it like that, 4 syllables.) Don’t believe me? Here’s the what we saw from the Lido deck of the Star Princess:

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Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

 

Lutheran Church - Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Lutheran Church – Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

P. Rickrode and the Star Princess at Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014.

P. Rickrode and the Star Princess at Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014.

Our land portion of our Ketchikan experience took us into the Tongass National Forest where we hiked deep into the rain forest and the very heart of bear country. I hoped for an up close encounter.

Tongass National Forest - Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Tongass National Forest – Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Tongass National Forest - Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode

Tongass National Forest – Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode

Maybe if I ventured into a bear cave . . . I might just get lucky . . . .

Bear cave. Tongass National Forest - Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Bear cave. Tongass National Forest – Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

No luck, although there was a lot of bear poop. I was surprised to see Spanish moss and even more surprised to see the wicked undersides of these massive leaves. Yes, those are thorns and when they prick skin they immediately form a barbed hook and become impossible to extract. Yikes!!

Tongass National Forest - Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Tongass National Forest – Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Tongass National Forest - Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Tongass National Forest – Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

We journeyed past a fishery with a waterway well-stocked with fish, mostly salmon. But still – no bears despite the never-ending fish buffet. The birds were enjoying the spoils that the bears had left behind. Seems bears only eat the heads and skin of the fish, leaving the birds to scavange the red fleshy parts many humans so love.

Tongass National Forest - Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Tongass National Forest – Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Spawning salmon. Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Spawning salmon. Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Next we met a Native totem pole carver, who enlightened us about the dying art of carving totem poles. Then we saw the end results of many fine woodsmiths. I felt compelled to pose amidst the standing art. You can get a sense of the size of some of these works of art which all tell a story.

Totem pole carver at work. Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Totem pole carver at work. Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

P. Rickrode and totems. Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014.

P. Rickrode and totem poles. Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014.

Still no bears. But I did feed a reindeer, which is weird because there are no reindeer in Alaska, except these few in captivity. (My husband was not as quick at snapping the picture as the reindeer was of eating the lettuce.)

P. Rickrode feeding a eindeer at Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014.

P. Rickrode feeding a reindeer at Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014.

Then we headed to lunch, where I finally got my Alaskan bear experience with, not one, but four bears, at a little slice of celestial awesomeness known as the George Inlet Lodge,

P. Rickrode at the George Inlet Lodge. Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014.

P. Rickrode at the George Inlet Lodge. Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014.

George Inlet Lodge - Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

George Inlet Lodge – Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Here, we dined on Alaskan Amber beer and Dungeness crab – all you can eat – from a room with this amazing view:

George Inlet Lodge - Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

George Inlet Lodge – Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

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Talk about an amazing day. We were well-fed and well-educated by the time we climbed the 85 steps back up to the bus.

George Inlet Lodge - Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

George Inlet Lodge – Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

So there you have it. Our first official day in Alaska, albeit just barely inside the boundary. Ketchikan, Alaska earns a two thumbs up and a high-ranking number on my list of “places I have to go back to.”

Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. RIckrode 2014.

Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo by P. RIckrode 2014.

Have you ever been to Ketchikan? Do you enjoy salmon? Do you have any nasty, wound-inducing plants in your neck of the woods? Inquiring minds want to know.

Oh – and there’s a special prize for the first person who finds the hidden Mickey.

Word of the Day:  Hedgehop

Fun fact about me: I’m allergic to salmon, which sucks when you’re in the salmon capital of the world.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, October 2014. Original photos by P. Rickrode and C. Rickrode.

 

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