September 8, 2003--Ketchikan
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We had not expected to take tenders into the Ketchikan port, but there were too many ships there that day, so we took the short tender ride to shore. Once there, we first visited the Deer Mountain Tribal hatchery, where we saw a couple of eagles up close (307-309); they had been injured and could not again fly. Then it was on to the salmon and trout-rearing facility where we saw salmon everywhere, ready to be harvested for sale (310-319).
The next stop was Totem Heritage Center and its collection of the oldest totems in the nation, and the Tribal House at Totem Bight State Park (322-331). Each of the totems has a long, intricate story in its carving--it would be an all day experience if all of these totems were explained in detail. An entire settlement lived in the Tribal House (327-328) which provided very little privacy for the inhabiting families. The door was made intentionally small so that any intruders would be easy prey if they tried to storm the house.
From there, it was on to the Alaskan Totem Trading Company, a gift shop selling a little of everything, including a huge number of totem poles of all sizes (336). Interspersed among the items for sale in this gift shop were many antique cars (334-335), which turned out to be more interesting than the gift shop. A side room in the shop held the Alaskan Museum, with its collection of pre-1865 antique firearms and stuffed animals (332-333). As gift shops go, this one was unique.
Finally, we concluded the Ketchikan stop by visiting the famous Creek Street (337-343) where we saw Dolly's, the most famous bordello from the early days of Alaska settlement (341-343).
On the way back to the ship, photo 344 was taken of the Island Princess--we never did get a satisfactory explanation of what the two "jet engines" on top are.
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