We arrived in Ketchikan after 38 hours on the Alaskan Marine Highway Service (ferry). A great experience as we travelled up a rather misty Inside Passage, passing some extremely remote stations and catching sight of dolphin and whales along the way.
A quick tour around town gave us an indication of the wildlife we would see over the next few days and some of the amazing public art on display around the town. Bald eagles everywhere, especially in Ketchikan Creek where the salmon were running, trying to avoid the fishermen and the harbour seals.
The purchase of a fishing licence, rod and necessary tackle was quickly rewarded when, at our campground at Ward Lake, Declan managed to catch a few Dolly Varden before landing a Chum Salmon. Delicious for lunch, dinner, breakfast, sandwiches, dinner, more sandwiches and dinner again!! More wildlife, otters, Sitka black tailed deer, our first black bears, one driving along the forest road late one evening, the other at Herring Creek, lots of Kingfishers, red squirrels and ducks carrying ducklings on their backs, something I'd never seen before.
We managed a great hike up to Perseverance Lake one day, making all sorts of noises along the way to let any unsuspecting bears know we were coming. All good until we bumped into someone who warned us she'd seen wolves at the lake. Fortunately, they had disappeared by the time we arrived.
We had a fabulous day trip out to the Misty Fjord National Monument, seeing yet more whales along the way, the amazing volcanic plug hole, New Eddystone Rock, Rudyerd Bay, Punchbowl Cove and a pictograph thought to mark the grave of a Tlingit shaman.
Ketichikan itself is a busy cruise ship destination, but when you get behind the crowds everyone was friendly and the girls I met at the local yoga studio I found invited us to a Haida dance on the Friday night at Totem Bight State Historical Park. It was a great way to see the local customs being practiced in the clan house.
Everyone made us so welcome that it was a real shame to leave some six days later.