Monday, June 21, 2010

Ketchikan, Alaska

My first stop in Southeast Alaska was Ketchikan. This beautiful place is known for native Alaskan totem poles, and its rainy weather. Ketchikan is also the wettest town in the United States and one of the cruise ship ports of call. While I saw these monstrous ships tied to the dock, the town was a full of tourists with shopping bags.
Escaping the crowds, I hiked up Deer Mountain. The trail began in deep old growth forest. It was spring in Southeast Alaska, different hues and shades of green were vivid in my eyes. The thick moss that carpeted the ground was also fresh green! It was the time for Skunk Cabbage blooming. The trumpet like bright yellow flowers were everywhere on the woods floor. These sure had a unique smell.
I loved the mossy rock with streams!

For the next few days, I explored Alaskan Native culture in Ketchikan. I spent a few hours alone at Totem Bight State Historic Park in the rain. Walking among the totem poles and the Cran House surrounded by the dark rain forest, I felt like I was connected with their native spirits. When I was ready to leave the park, a big coach full of colorful clothed tourists from the cruise ships came in. I was so glad to experience the quiet moment in the park.

I had another beautiful hike at Settlers Cove, at the north end of the Tongass Highway. This mossy rain forest is indicative of larges parts of Southeast Alaska...I just love it!

Beautiful waterfalls in the woods.

The wild coastline full of seaweeds!

Sunset behind Betton Island...
It was a low tide in a morning. Numerous sea creatures were exposed on the shore! Hundreds of Sea many Sunflower Sea Stars came out!

Ketchikan was an attractive little town with interesting culture and beautiful natural surroundings. My next stop is Petersburg, about 100 miles north of Ketchikan on a ferry.