Posted by: Ann | September 10, 2019

8-31-19, Saturday- Full day in Ketchikan, Part 1

Sunny, turning to overcast

We were happy to have a place to sit in Safeway to have our Starbucks, pay bills, and admire what has to be the best view out of a Safeway anywhere. Back at the boat, Jon gave Fifth Element a wash down after borrowing a hose; I guess we need another hose extension; this isn’t the first time the nearest hose bib on the dock has been out of reach.

For lunch we took the free shuttle to the Alaskan Fish House. As I mentioned, there was every indication that it should be a tourist trap, but it was excellent. Service was efficient, fast, polite, clean and the salmon burger and cajun fries were delicious.

We were disappointed that the National Park center was closed for a private party. A couple more blocks up is the historic Creek Street district. Formerly hosing the brothels of Ketchikan, this pretty spot along the creek now houses many interesting boutiques. But the real attraction for us was the Salmon Run.

Ketchikan slopes quickly upward from the waterfront and there are steep staircases to many of the homes. We happened upon the funicular to the Cape Fox Lodge which promised an espresso bar. We hopped on for the short ride up only to find the espresso shop closed. Fortunately, no one asked us to pay the $2 round trip fare. We wandered out the entrance to find a sign marking trails to Park street and the Married Man’s trail (back to the brothels). There seemed to be a lot of people wandering around Park Street down below, so we went that direction.

It led to the upper creek and the salmon ladder. There were groups of people watching thousands of fish literally swim upstream. You could see their fins poking out of the water as the salmon alternately paused and then shot forward for brief spurts. There was a salmon ladder on the edge of the steepest cascades, looking like a switchback of rungs, but not all of the fish seemed to use it. Some just went right up steep cascades. It was hard to grasp just how many salmon there were.

In the more shallow areas, people could walk out and actually grab a salmon. Signs forbidding “Snagging” are posted. Still, some kids were practicing fishing for the salmon, and I saw one boy catch one but then throw it back. We followed the creek back down to water street

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