Ketchikan, Alaska

There wasn’t much rain falling when the ship reached port. Given that Ketchikan averages about 14.5 ft (4.4 m) of rain per year, that was something for which to be thankful. While the portion of Ketchikan at the higher elevation in town looked much like a working class Pittsburgh neighborhood, the lower portion that services the cruise ships consisted of attractive little tourist shops.

As we wandered into this section, Joy noticed an inclined tram suggestive of The Incline in Pittsburgh, and we started to make our way over there. That is how we discovered the little market area in the video. The Creek Street markets sit on stilts along the creek (where else?). Until 1953 it had served as the red light district in Ketchikan, but today shoppers find Alaskan art, fish, and souvenirs. One shop had a model train with the engines from the White Pass & Yukon on which we had just enjoyed a tour. What a great toy train that would be to have under one’s Christmas tree!

As we worked our way back to the ship, we stopped in a shop, Barnaby’s Old Town, where an Alaskan Malamute lie on the floor accepting shoppers’ tokens of affection. The shopkeeper told us the story behind the totem with the whale on the bottom. Joy continued our tradition of buying Christmas ornaments on each cruise by picking a totem pole ornament there.

By the time we got back to the ship, the rain was really coming down. But frankly the only impact that had on us was that Joy would hold her umbrella over my camera when I tried to take a picture.

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