Ketchikan, Alaska

Town & Totem Tour

Guard Island Lighthouse Tour


Our first Alaska port... as we eased in at dawn the water was impossibly still.

The city is hung from the steep side of the valley. In fact the waterfront streets are built in pilings... and an old strip of buildings on Creek Street (the former red light district; interesting that these buildings have survived so well....) is on the cliff side on stilts.

Morning rush hour, Ketchikan harbor

This is essentially the same photo as the first one on this page... but the sun has risen higher, hitting the hills (mountains?) across from the port. The color of the water has now become to a great blue...

At Totem Bight State Park. This Park is an outgrowth of an attempt to teach the totem carving skills, with the original tools, to a new generation of Tlingit Native Americans before these skills were lost forever.

Each totem pole, frought with symbolism, has a story to tell.


A modern replica of the 'longhouse' where a related family group lived and where important potlatch festivities and other significant gatherings were held. Built of cedar... wonderful odor of a cedar chest inside!


The figure on the corner post carries a club.. used to defend the low doorway, where anyone would enter one at a time and have to stoop ... making them selves very vulnerable.

Close up .....


Would you believe that I swam out to take this shot from off shore?

(No? Well then, would you believe I took it from the boat when on the Guard Island Tour, coming up next?)

A portable town.... Built in a raft... Can be moved to be near where a logging operation is active... complete with a company store, school, post office. At this time is not in use because logging operations have been seriously curtailed by the Clinton Administration rule prohibiting building of roads in national forests, the effect of which is to make logging unprofitable.

Clear cutting near Juneau, Alaska.

Controversial.... Conflicts involving the realities of unemployment, natural rejuvenation, scenic view, preservationists, need for timber world wide. No easy answers.

Along the way, lots of eagle nests and a few eagles - young and mature.

And yes, we circumnavigated Guard Island... had the option of buying into the Guard Island preservation effort... enjoyed our salmon snacks....

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