Let us begin our journey into the world of Sonja's Alaskan Vacation with tales of our third and final port-of-call: Ketchikan.
View of Creek Street, a very nice looking street. There's an old-timey whorehouse museum on this street.
Ahh, Ketchikan. The rainiest city in North America. Despite the fact that it's a deeply depressing place, Ketchikan has its good points: pretty views, some interesting history (blah blah prohibition mudslides Alaskan miners Scarlet Women...to be honest I paid very little attention), and PLENTY of cruise-related tourist attractions. Sadly, I have no pictures of the tourist attractions, because I only take pictures of pretty things. I should really start taking pictures of things with a mind to how I'm going to make fun of them on the internet later.
Cruise passengers staring warily around as they disembark
someone presumably lives here
At times, walking through the "downtown" area felt strangely like walking through an Indian bazaar in a 1950s musical. "Come buy our jewelry! Free Gift if you come inside! Come inside and LOOK AT OUR JEWELRY!" Jewelry store after jewelry store (many of which are owned by Indian companies, funnily enough), Gold Rush themed traps selling the least enticing tourist crap you could ever imagine, and extreeeeeeeemely overpriced tourist food.
Philly Cheesesteak REPRESENT! Reindeer Dog, anyone?
For our excursion in Ketchikan, I somehow convinced Mumsy to sign up for a canoe trip. I don't know how I did this, but we were both very excited. We got in a little van, and drove for about 35 minutes outside the city limits.
Wait, what's that? A random tree? Or...wait a minute...are those bulletholes? Let's take a closer look.
Yes. They are. Every single street sign between Ketchikan and the pleasant little lake we visited was riddled with bulletholes. We also passed the ashy twisted remains of a bicycle that had been blown up on the side of the road. This is what happens when you get over 150" of rain every year.
Eventually we made it to the lake.
Pretty, right? No one was more ready to get in that canoe than my dear mother....
...the Angel of Death. I couldn't tell you why she decided to dress herself like the grim reaper for our tranquil lake excursion.
Look at that excitement. Clearly she was expecting some casualties.
She gazes stoically forward, silently deciding who will live, and who will die.
These poor souls. They smile in the face of unspeakable evil, and paddle bravely on.
She Who Must Not Be Named graciously decided to spare us so that we could properly enjoy our last meal on this earth: a "real Alaskan snack!"
Don't be fooled by its apparent charm. The snack was put together by the Least Enthusiastic Twenty Year Old in the History of Employment, and consisted of smoked salmon arranged on a giant leaf that he found in the woods, a vat of some kind of chowder that he apathetically stirred in the corner, supermarket rolls, a giant tub of jelly, and a bowl of Andes mints (score! I ate 3.)
Evil bird summoned by the Angel of Death to snatch our food & remind us that our earthly pleasures were soon to vanish.
We took a brief nature walk before getting back in the canoe and paddling around.
We banded together, a ragtag crew of overfed cruise passengers unaccustomed to sunlight and exercise, and managed to paddle ourselves all around the lake. There was an awesome Australian couple sitting right in front of us, and also this weird kid who dropped his paddle in the water at one point. I rescued it, which made me feel very heroic indeed. Probably the only reason we made it out of there alive.
All in all, it really was a fun day. It felt especially good to remind myself that we wouldn't have to stay in Ketchikan.
Coming up on the Blog! See the world through Sonja's eyes as she rides the WORLD'S LONGEST ZIPLINE - captured LIVE from her iPhone. Did she make it to the bottom? Your guess is as good as mine....