Friday, September 5, 2014

The world through my eyes: Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point/Hoonah Village

My Alaskan adventure took me to Ketchikan on Sunday and to Icy Strait Point/Hoonah village on Monday. I had terribly connectivity on the ship (even though  paid through the nose for it) so I'm only catching up now.

It is hard doing this without Kevin. There is a deep sense of something missing, which is no surprise. There is a cognitive dissonance, on the one hand a feeling of pointlessness (why am I doing this when he isn't here to share it with) and on the other a hint of continuation that, while it lacks joy, is at least present. So it goes. I'm not yet ready to be in the world without him, but here I am. So it goes.

It poured all day. Boy, was I cold.

The salmon were swimming upstream (or trying to). This was fairly early in their journey, so they are still brown.
A few days later I saw the classic bright red spawning salmon (coming soon).
Watching these animals fight their way a few feet upstream then be swept back down and try again was truly awe-inspiring. I did see the classic "jumping up a waterfall" behavior but wasn't able to get a shot of it.

I visited the Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan. All of the totem poles in this museum were from abandoned Tlingit villages, brought into this center with permission of the carver's clans and elders. It was a lovely place, full of reverence for these holy relics. The whole place smelled of dry, aging wood. Wonderful.

Ketchikan, like many Alaskan cities, is built on stilts and boardwalks. Creek Street is a historical street in Ketchikan, once home to many bordellos that served cannery workers, sailors, gold rush dreamers and more. This house was a little off the beaten path. I liked the contrast between the red, grey and green.

Art in the Ketchikan harbor. I love octopi.

On the boat from Ketchikan to Icy Strait Point
Rain continued.

More bigness

A flock of sea birds.

I watched this flock form and reform v's as they headed south. Winter is coming.

Red building, white anchor

Icy Strait Point/Hoonah
This may be my favorite stop on the cruise. I didn't expect to love it but it felt most authentic. Hoonah is a (mostly) Tlingit village. When the canneries closed they decided to cater to the cruise trade, but only allow in one ship at a time and seem dedicated to both making a good living and educating tourists. It was fascinating.

Road from Icy Strait Point to Hoonah.

Abandoned cannery in Hoonah. Birds.

I shared my lunch with this raven. 

Abandoned boats. And finally some blue sky!

A boggy area well into the island. I loved this place.

Fawn bones in the forest. Someone had a snack.

A coastal Alaskan brown bear, doing what bears to. Eating salmon. Sorry it's such a long shot, please double click to zoom in.

In case there was any doubt I was in Alaska.

This is a lichen called "old man's beard." It is rather like spanish moss and grows only where the air is very clean.

The Tlingit say if you see a raven, look for eagle. Here he is.

The shore of the island. Very rocky and lovely.

(c)2014 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

1 comment:

  1. If you go to Homer, check out Kate Boyan:s gallery. She is my cousin.


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