Posts Tagged With: Alaska

Wrap Up in Anchorage

We wrapped up our epic journey to Alaska in Anchorage, the largest city in the state.  With a population exceeding 300,000, nearly half the state’s residents call Anchorage home. Our hotel, the Westmark, included in our cruise package and owned by Holland America, was well-located downtown. We arrived early in the evening before an afternoon flight out of Anchorage the following day allowing us time for just a brief look around.

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Panoramic view from our balcony at the Westmark Hotel, Anchorage

Dinner at Humpy’s came with outside seating made more enjoyable after the brief shower ended. Jim especially liked his caribou sausage but I had seafood again. Thankfully, salmon and halibut would soon be delivered to our door so it wasn’t my last meal of Alaskan seafood.

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Jim and Sheryl outside Humpy’s

The following morning we got an early start to make the best use of our time. Anchorage plants more than 80,000 flowers in 270 flower beds throughout the city and we were happy to encounter more than a few on our walkabout.

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One of the many flower beds planted around Anchorage each year

Our visit coincided with the Slam’n Salm’n Derby on Ship Creek, an annual fundraiser for the Downtown Soup Kitchen. I was intent on seeing this event so we headed straight for the creek. We overshot the mark, however, and ended up further upstream and found ourselves in a seedier neighborhood than we intended. In retrospect, if we had simply walked directly to the Information Center, we could have explored the area from there. The upside of getting off the beaten path, however, was seeing the Streambank Restoration Project to protect salmon habitat.

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Ship Creek Trail

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Fishing for salmon on the bank of Ship Creek for the Slam’n Salm’n Derby

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More derby fishers at the Bridge at Ship Creek

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Derby fisher weighs his catch

I later read the Derby winner for 2015 was a woman who caught a 37.55 lb king salmon early in the 10-day event.

We visited the nearby Ulu Factory and watched a craftsman work on a traditional ulu knife. With a history over 3000 years old, this tool was fashioned and used by native Alaskans and is still used today. We bought one for ourselves and one for a gift. I especially like it for chopping herbs since I don’t skin many seals.

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Craftsman working at the Ulu Factory

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My Ulu with cutting bowl

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The Ulu Factory and Store

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Jim with a dogsled displayed outside the Ulu Factory

A quick stop at the Visitor’s Center told us there was plenty more than we had time to see, and we would have to be content with the briefest of tours.

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Anchorage Visitor Information Center

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Downtown Anchorage

We decided to spend some of our precious time on an exhibit and video presentation of Dave Parkhurst’s photographs of the aurora borealis.  Photography of his work in the exhibit wasn’t allowed but you can check out his images on his website, The Alaska Collection. We once viewed the northern lights in northern Wisconsin and Jim saw them another time while driving in Iowa on I-35 but this show was phenomenal. As a result, I now want to see the aurora borealis in either Alaska or Iceland.

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Video presentation of images of the Aurora Borealis by Alaskan photographer Dave Parkhurst

Then it was back to the hotel to grab our luggage and catch a taxi to the airport. As we said goodbye to Alaska, we were treated once again to views of Mt. Denali. What could possibly provide a more lasting impression of Alaska?

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Mt. Denali

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Mt. Denali

 

 

 

Based on events of June 2015.

 

 

Categories: Anchorage, cruise, Denali, Travel, Uncategorized, USA | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Do Not Miss Denali

I have very few travel regrets. I traveled to Belgium and I didn’t visit Bruges. I went to South Africa and I skipped Cape Town and a side trip to Victoria Falls, Zambia. Every time I hear about these places I think, “Why did I miss that?” As a result, I now do better research to find the “do not miss” places in the vicinity of my travel destinations. Do not, I repeat, do not go to Alaska and skip Denali. It was, without a doubt, the highlight of the trip for me. I only wish I had spent more time there.

The original name of the highest mountain in North America was Denali, a Native American word meaning high one or great one. It was renamed Mt. McKinley by William Dickey in 1896 when gold was discovered and William McKinley was running for President. The 2 million acre tract of land was named McKinley National Park like the mountain when it was established in 1917. Then in 1975, Alaska restored the name Denali to the mountain but the federal government continued to call it Mt. McKinley. In 1980, Congress expanded the park to 6 million acres and changed the name to Denali National Park and Preserve. Finally, in September 2015, the name of the mountain was also restored to Denali at the federal level by executive order. Confused? Needless to say, all of this was mired in politics but suffice it to say the name of the mountain has been restored to the original Native American name and the national park is named after it.

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Entrance to Denali National Park and Preserve

In spite of the distance to Alaska and the relatively small state population, Denali National Park and Preserve hosts over one-half million visitors each year. To reduce traffic and emissions, the park restricts traffic beyond mile 15 to shuttle and tour buses. Green shuttle buses are the hop on hop off variety but there is no narration provided. Fares vary from $27.50 to $52.50 based on time and distance.  The tan tour buses provide a narrated tour with a box lunch. Prices range from $70.75 to $165 also  depending on time and distance.  We were scheduled and assigned to the Tundra Wilderness Tour by the cruise line as part of our package. If you visit the park on your own, reservations are not required but you can schedule your tour ahead of time here.

Our tour started in the afternoon so we hiked some of the trails and checked out the Denali Visitor Center in the morning. Free courtesy shuttles provide transportation from the hotels to the entrance of the park where various hiking trails begin. We chose the Horseshoe Lake Trail which was moderately difficult but people in worse shape seemed to handle it and the spectacular scenery was definitely worth it.

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Jim and Sheryl setting off for a hike

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Our first view from above on Horseshoe Trail. We climbed down then back up on the hike.

 

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Nary a bear to be found but I was alert, nevertheless

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Quiet, peaceful beauty of the trail

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Horseshoe Lake

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Nenana River

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Horseshoe Lake

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Horseshoe Lake

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Jim on Horseshoe Lake Trail

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Sheryl on Horseshoe Lake Trail

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After the return climb from Horseshoe Lake Trail

After hiking the 3.2-mile loop, it was on to the Denali Visitor Center to check out the informational materials they had to offer. The displays were beautifully presented with lots of mounted animals that are found within the park.

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Denali Visitor Center

The only bear I saw happened to be outside the Visitor Center welcoming visitors. I joined the kids in getting a photo.

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Laura and the bear

After a bite to eat in the cafeteria we caught our tour bus that would take us further into the national park.

Our tour guide, a trained interpretive naturalist, was engaging and well-informed, providing us with natural history details galore while keeping an eye out for wildlife.

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Our tour guide

The “big five” in Denali are bears, Dall sheep, caribou, moose, and wolves. We hoped to see them all and the sign below raised our hopes even further.

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Sign on Park Road

Our first wildlife sighting was of Dall sheep high on the far-off slopes but they are just white dots on my photos. Tip: take a good camera with a telephoto lens if you really want to get the shot.

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White dots on the ridge are Dall sheep

Fortunatley, the driver had a telephoto video camera that he showed on a screen in the bus.

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Video screen on the bus to see distant animals

We saw lots of caribou. I can’t tell you exactly how many we saw but by the end of the tour, most tourists didn’t bother to look when one was spotted. The first views were exciting, however. Our naturalist told us that mosquitoes relentlessly torment the caribou. They are literally covered in mosquitoes and they look for snow or mud to bury themselves to escape the misery.

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Caribou

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Caribou laying in the dirt trying to avoid mosquitoes

Try as we might, we didn’t see any bears, wolves, or moose but we did see  beautiful scenery. Many of us tried to capture a bit of it from the bus and each time we stopped.

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Denali National Park and Preserve from the tour bus

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Denali National Park and Preserve

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Denali National Park and Preserve

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Denali National Park and Preserve

And then we saw this. The second day of clear, pristine views of Mt. Denali. Our enthusiasm was not dampened in the least by continued views of this spectacular moutain.

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Mt. Denali (aka Mt. McKinley)

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A shuttle bus on the Park Road with a view of Mt. Denali

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Selfie with Mt. Denali

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Mt. Denali

 

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Mt. Denali

 

Based on events of June 2015.

 

Categories: Denali, History, natural history, Travel, Uncategorized, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Scenes from the Bus to Denali

Our cruise ship docked at Seward where we boarded a motor coach to begin the land portion of our Alaskan adventure. The 364 mile bus trip to Denali took all day but the scenery and the narration by our driver made the trip most enjoyable. If you read my previous posts about Alaska, you may think this day was less impressive than previous days. Not so, and you’ll soon see why.

We began our road trip on the Seward Highway, a 125 mile scenic byway which crosses the Kenai Peninsula from Seward to Anchorage.

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Kenai Peninsula

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View along Seward Highway on the Kenai Peninsula

 

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View from Seward Highway on the Kenai Peninsula

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View from Seward Highway on Kenai Peninsula

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While it was great to leave the driving to someone else and concentrate on capturing the beautiful scenery by photo, one of the distinct disadvantages was not being able to stop when we wanted. I usually take a picture of a nearby sign to tell me where my photos were taken which wasn’t possible from a moving vehicle. Consequently, I can’t tell exactly where many of my photos were taken and I can’t label each mountain and lake.

We did hear the story of Moose Pass, however, and I snapped a photo from the bus. The sign on the side of the road next to the waterwheel and grindstone announces, “Moose Pass is a peaceful little town. If you have an axe to grind, do it here.”

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Waterwheel and grindstone on the side of the road

We took a break at a rest area with picnic tables and hiking trails that was especially photogenic.

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Jim enjoying the spectacular view

Near the end of the Seward Highway, we drove along Turnagain Arm. In 1778, when Captain James Cook sought a northwest passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic Oceans, he named the estuary he found Turnagain River because he was forced to turn around there. Captain Vancouver called it Turnagain Arm in 1794 when he explored the area.

There are two fascinating features of Turnagain Arm. First, one of the largest bore tides in the world occurs here. So what is a bore tide? Dictionary.com defines a tidal bore as, “an abrupt rise of tidal water moving rapidly inland from the mouth of an estuary.” Translated, that means while the water in the Turnagain Arm is flowing out to sea, the tide rushes into the estuary from the ocean. The resulting waves are high enough that surfers actually ride them. For more information and to see a video, check out Alaska Public Lands Information Centers.

The other feature is the mudflats which are composed of glacial silt that act like quicksand. The suction created when the mud is displaced is virtually impossible to break without help. Warnings advise hikers to steer clear because getting stuck in the mudflats with the tide coming in is a recipe for disaster.

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Mudflats on Turnagain Arm

After a quick stop for lunch at a restaurant at the edge of Wasilla, we continued toward the town of Willow on Parks Highway where we saw two more amazing sights. First, we got our first glimpse of Mt. Denali, then called Mt. McKinley. Second, we saw smoke. These two sights would dominate the rest of our Alaskan adventure.

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Smoke rising in Willow with snow covered Mt. Denali to the right in the background

Let me tell you first about Mt. Denali. We knew we would be very lucky to see the elusive highest mountain peak in North America. It’s more often obscured by clouds than not which is why people lucky enough to see it are called the 30% club. When we got our first glimpse, I started taking photos and didn’t stop. I have pictures taken from far enough away that you wouldn’t know it was Mt. Denali; I have photos of Mt. Denali barely visible behind other mountains; I have pictures taken through the bug-covered windshield of the bus. When I experience a rare event, I capture every minute with great enthusiasm before it disappears. Little did we know we would see Mt. Denali four days in a row. I wonder if there’s a club for that?

Here are a few more views from day one of Mt. Denali.

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Mt. Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley)

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Mt. Denali

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Proof we were there

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Mt. Denali

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Mt. Denali

The other sight was the fire. We would see and hear more about this event, called the Sockeye Fire, throughout our stay. The blaze was reported at 1:15 p.m. on Sunday, June 14, 2015. The seven photos I took as we drove through the area were taken at 1:16 and 1:17 p.m. By early the next morning, the blaze was out of control, Willow was under an evacuation order, and the road we had traveled was closed. We heard the fire was the result of fireworks but the cause was later determined to be an unattended illegal burn pile. In the end, 55 homes were destroyed, 7220 acres were burned, and the cost to fight the fire was $8 million. We would see more results from the Sockeye Fire when we left Denali.

We arrived at the McKinley Chalet Resort late in the afternoon and found our assigned room in the Cottonwoods Building.

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McKinley Chalet Resort

 

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Sheryl and Jim outside our hotel building

After exploring the grounds and grabbing some dinner, we were ready to call it a night and prepare for our tour of Denali National Park the following day. Thankfully, we had room darkening draperies because it never really got dark at all.

 

Based on events in June 2015.

Categories: cruise, Denali, Travel, Uncategorized, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

All Aboard in Skagway, Alaska

The White Pass Scenic Railway is Holland America’s most popular excursion in Alaska and it was the one I was most keen to take. It’s also one of the few excursions that costs essentially the same price whether you book through the cruise line or privately, so I booked through HAL. (Otherwise, I often book privately to save money.) Passengers board the train just steps from where the ships dock in Skagway in front of the graffiti wall where cruise ships have recorded their maiden voyage to this port since 1917. A three hour roundtrip ride to the summit of White Pass is fully narrated while you climb to 2865 feet of elevation in just 20 miles.

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View of the train and graffiti wall from our verandah on the Oosterdam

The railroad was a direct result of the Klondike gold rush. When gold was discovered in 1896 at the confluence of the Klondike and Yukon Rivers in northwestern Canada, stampeders flocked to Skagway and nearby Dyea by the boatload. But the trip from there to the gold fields was long and arduous. The route from Dyea, along the Chilkoot Trail, was shorter but the Golden Stairs, a 1,000 foot vertical climb in a quarter mile, was a definite drawback. The White Pass Trail starting at Skagway was 10 miles longer but less steep. When prospectors factored in the transport of a ton of supplies to last a year as required by the Canadian government, the White Pass Trail was the preferred route. Skagway became the Gateway to the Klondike.

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Display of 1 ton of supplies required by the Canadian government for each prospector to ensure their survival at the gold fields

Although the White Pass Trail was somewhat less treacherous, it was not without danger and hardship. The trail became a muddy quagmire resulting in the deaths of 3,000 horses and the nickname of Dead Horse Trail. The 21 year old then unknown writer, Jack London, who sailed to Skagway in 1897 penned, “The horses died like mosquitoes in the first frost, and from Skagway to Bennett they rotted in heaps.”

Building a railroad was the logical solution to move men and supplies to the gold fields and this capitalist venture commenced in 1898. The project was a remarkable engineering achievement. A narrow gauge track was employed due to the tight curves required by the terrain as well as plenty of steep grades, tunnels, and trestles. The project was completed in 1899 at a cost of $10 million with the construction efforts of 35,000 men.

In 1994, the White Pass and Yukon Railroad received the designation of International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, an honor shared by the Panama Canal and the Eiffel Tower.

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Conductor on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad

 

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Looking back to Skagway from Inspiration Point to see the cruise ships in the harbor

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View of the Skagway River from the train

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Another view of the Skagway River from the train

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Views from the train

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View of the terrain and the train

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View of one of the tunnels from the train

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View from the train

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White Pass Summit, official border between U.S. and Canada

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White Pass Summit, mile 20.4, elevation 2888 ft.

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The old trestle that has been replaced

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Jim reading and Sheryl enjoying the view from the train

After our train ride, we explored the restored gold rush town of Skagway, Alaska. By 1897, after gold was discovered in the Klondike, the population swelled to about 20,000 but today there are only around 850 year-round residents.

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Restored gold rush town of Skagway, Alaska

We especially enjoyed Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park which is integrated into the town with information and historical displays in several buildings. The photo above of the 1 ton of goods is one such display. There were also many photographs from the time period and lots of explanatory material. It was a history lover’s gold mine of information.

All that history can bring on a powerful thirst and a good place to quench it is the Red Onion Saloon. When it first opened in 1898, the Red Onion served alcohol on the main floor with a brothel above. Today it is listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks and a popular site in Skagway. We stuck to the main floor but for $10 a madam will talk dirty to you (in a guided tour of the brothel museum.)

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Red Onion Saloon

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Our server at the Red Onion Saloon

After a fun-filled day on the train and exploring Skagway, it was back to the Oosterdam in time for our departure.

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Based on events of June 2015.

 

Categories: Canada, cruise, History, Uncategorized, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fishing for the Halibut in Ketchikan

Jim Lalor, wrote today’s guest blog post.

When planning our Alaskan cruise, Laura noted a salmon fishing tournament at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage while we’d be there. She thought I should catch a salmon to be smoked and sent home. I thought a fishing trip would be a great way to spend a day but she wasn’t keen on the idea of bobbing in a small boat on the ocean hoping a fish would take the bait. Thus, I began to look for a charter with space for one.

Ketchikan calls itself the salmon fishing capital of the world and we’d be in port from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm. Internet inquiries showed many small charter boats for day excursions but several emails and phone calls revealed they were already full on our day in port and no one was aware of a boat having space for a single. Then I talked to Capt. Mike on The Alaska Catch.  He had 4 people booked on his 5 fisherman boat. He told me that the salmon fishing would be just starting then and unreliable. He said he had good luck at that time of June with halibut fishing and he preferred eating halibut. The cost would be $220 plus tax and a $20 license fee for a 6 hour trip. There was a fish processor that would clean, freeze, and ship the fish overnight once I was home. I told him to reserve my spot and we made arrangements to meet on the dock at the Oosterdam at 7:00 am.

That morning, I put on warm clothes knowing that it feels about 10 degrees colder on the water. I grabbed my lunch and was one of the first passengers off the ship. After a short wait, I saw Capt. Mike with his sign and a father and son from another  cruise ship. A couple from the Oosterdam soon joined us for the short walk to the dock to board The Alaska Catch. It was a clean, shiny new boat that was well equipped. The enclosed cabin had 2 chairs and 2 double benches.

The Alaska Catch

The Alaska Catch

The Alaska Catch

The Alaska Catch

After more than an hour of cruising down the channel from Ketchikan between islands, we got to the edge of the drop off into deep water of the Gulf of Alaska. We anchored in 350 feet of water and prepared to drop lines. The 22 pound anchor was enough to hold the 24 foot The Alaska Catch in the breeze.

Halibut are the largest flatfish in the Pacific and evolved to have both eyes on their brown topside with a white underside. Maximum keeper-size for halibut on a guided trip is 42 inches so the photos you see of the giant halibut catches are from unguided fishing trips. Capt. Mike told us about catching a 220 pounder in the spring when he and another guy from The Alaska Catch stopped to fish for supper after a day of working at a cabin they have for fishing groups.

Capt. Mike said the tidal changes in the area are about 17 feet so lots of water moves into and out of the coastal areas carrying food to the halibut. The halibut lie on the bottom waiting for the food to come to them so that’s where our bait would be. We used large hooks with big chunks of fish and a one pound round weight that looked like a small cannonball. Capt. Mike counted down and we all dropped our lines simultaneously so they wouldn’t tangle on the way down. When they hit bottom, we cranked up a little and waited for a bite.

When the fish hit the baits, it was a major struggle cranking up that much weight from 350 feet. It was soon evident that putting the rod in the rod holder and holding down the reel with one hand while reeling in with the other was the only realistic option. We all caught halibut and quill-backed rock fish. Capt. Mike said the rock fish have a low survival rate when brought up and are good eating so we kept all the rock fish we caught and our limit of one halibut each. The five of us had a marvelous time fishing with Capt. Mike and listening to his Alaska and fish stories. Our group had a 40 inch halibut and several in the 30-36 inch range and 5 rock fish. An altogether successful and awesome morning of fishing, Capt. Mike made this a memorable outing for all of us.

Halibut

Halibut

Quill-back Rock Fish

Quill-back Rock Fish

Our Catch

Our Catch

Halibut

Halibut

During the hour trip back to the dock, we filled out the fish processing forms for The Cedars Lodge but they actually use Gateway Seafood and Smokehouse for processing. In the section to order retail salmon, halibut, prawns, or crab. I saw smoked salmon was an option and called Laura to ask if she wanted some shipped with the day’s catch. She was excited about smoked salmon and had me order 10 pounds at about $10/lb. Capt. Mike called the processor and they did have smoked silver salmon. Great! It would arrive at our home 2 days after we returned from the trip.

The shipment arrived the second morning we were home still nicely frozen in a styrofoam box. It had many 1 lb. packages of halibut and a package of rock fish filets plus many packages of salmon. We cooked a package of the halibut first and it was delicious. The first package of salmon we thawed was a surprise as it was fresh frozen and not smoked. It was very tasty but not what I’d ordered. I called The Cedars Lodge, spoke to one of the owners, and explained the problem. She checked her copy of the order and said they’d sent the wrong salmon. She asked what day I wanted the smoked salmon delivered at no charge since it was their error. True to her word, the smoked salmon arrived on the designated morning frozen like the first box of fish. We’ve enjoyed the smoked salmon as much as the other fish. It is so flavorful. If you’d like Alaskan fish delivered to your door, this is one option we are very happy to endorse.

My Alaskan Catch

My Alaskan Catch

Based on events of June 2015.

Categories: cruise, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Inside Passage to Ketchikan, Alaska

On the second day of our Alaskan cruise, we enjoyed a full day “at sea” sailing up the inside passage from Vancouver, B.C., to Ketchikan, Alaska. We were hoping to see wildlife along the way but with such dense woods, that was probably an unrealistic expectation. There were wildlife sightings in the water such as humpback whales and the captain would announce sightings from the bridge but it always seemed we were in the wrong place at the time. So we focused instead on the breathtaking scenery all around us that we would later learn was nothing compared to what was ahead.

Cruising the Inside Passage

Cruising the Inside Passage

View from our ship along the inside passage

View from our ship along the inside passage

Inside Passage View

Inside Passage View

Sunset along the Inside Passage

Sunset along the Inside Passage

Cruise Day 2 ends beautifully

Cruise Day 2 ended beautifully

The next morning (day 3) we arrived in Ketchikan, Alaska. Jim had arranged a private fishing charter with The Alaska Catch, so he was up and off the ship early to meet Captain Mike. Be sure to read Fishing for the Halibut in Ketchikan next Tuesday featuring Jim’s guest blog post about his experience.

Meanwhile, Sheryl and I explored Ketchikan. Imagine our delight to see blue skies and sunshine when we’d heard it always rains in Ketchikan. After noting that Ketchikan was Alaska’s first city and the salmon capital of the world, according to the welcome sign, we headed to historic Creek Street.

Welcome to Ketchikan, Alaska

Welcome to Ketchikan, Alaska

Creek Street was built literally on Ketchikan Creek.  The wooden boardwalk built on pilings driven into the banks of the creek was home to Ketchikan’s red light district from 1902 until prostitution was outlawed in 1953, and the scene of bootleg liquor sold in speakeasies during Prohibition. Today, there are shops and restaurants lining the boardwalk and Dolly’s House, where the famous madam had her lucrative business, is open for tours.  The tour guide at Dolly’s offered us a rock bottom price of $5 so Sheryl and I did a walk through.

Creek Street

Creek Street

Creek Street on Ketchikan Creek

Creek Street on Ketchikan Creek

Dolly's House on Creek Street

Dolly’s House on Creek Street

After checking out a couple of shops, we headed to the Totem Heritage Center. This museum is the repository of a priceless collection of Tlingit and Haida totem poles. The red cedar poles, carved by local artists in the 19th century, were rescued and salvaged from Tongass Island, Village Island, and Prince of Wales Island with technical assistance from the Smithsonian Institution and U.S. Forest Service.

Totem Heritage Center

Totem Heritage Center

Totem Heritage Center

Totem Heritage Center

Totem Heritage Center

Totem Heritage Center

Totem Heritage Center

Totem Heritage Center

The $5 admission price was well worth it to see these original totems that are so culturally significant to the Northwest Coast Native peoples.

The Totem Heritage Center, located along the Ketchikan Creek, was the starting point for a lovely walk along the creek to Salmon Row where the hatchery is located, and ending at the Salmon Ladder.

Ketchikan Creek

Ketchikan Creek

Ketchikan Creek

Ketchikan Creek

Pacific salmon are anadromous, that is they hatch in fresh water, migrate to the ocean to spend most of their life, then return to the area where they hatched to reproduce and die. When they leave the ocean, they stop feeding and their stomachs disintegrate to provide more room for the developing eggs and sperm. The appearance, flavor, and texture of the flesh isn’t very good for eating at this time so if you want salmon to eat, you fish in the ocean. The rapids in the Ketchikan Creek is an extreme challenge for the salmon to surmount to reach the spawning area upstream. The Salmon Ladder on the creek assists thousands of salmon to reach their spawning area by allowing them to use the ladder which is essentially like stairs in the water rather than face the rapids. Unfortunately, we didn’t see it in action because although we were in Alaska at the beginning of the spawning season, we were a little too early to see any fish in the creek. Read more about the life cycle of Pacific salmon here. 

Ketchikan Creek

Rapids on Ketchikan Creek

Salmon Ladder, Ketchikan

Salmon Ladder next to the rapids on Ketchikan Creek

After a little more shopping and halibut fish tacos at Annabelle’s, it was back to the Oosterdam in plenty of time to set sail. I would call Ketchikan a good cruise port with plenty to keep a cruise ship tourist interested and engaged.

Based on events of June 2015.

Categories: cruise, History, inside passage, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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