Totem Poles in Ketchikan, Alaska – Golden Princess Cruise Day 6

On our 6th day in Alaska, we explored Ketchikan, AKA The Salmon Capital of the World:

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Like the newsletter tells us, Ketchikan is a great place to see authentic totem poles, so we signed up for a tour to the Totem Bight State Park.

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 We debated on whether to see the Lumberjack show too, but we figured one tour was enough for the day

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 We were fortunate enough to find ourselves on Rusden’s bus.  He’s definitely one of the best tour guides we’ve had.  He was funny, knowledgeable and very passionate about Ketchikan’s history.  He clearly loved what he does.  He even baked cookies for us the night before!  We were his first tour group for the season, so we were a bit special 😉

On the way to the park, Rusden pointed out something very interesting about Ketchikan – apparently, they have a lot of these stairway streets in town:

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Do you see it? They’re actual streets with street names and everything, but they’re essentially just a flight of stairs.

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 Here’s another one

Totem Bight Park was a short drive away.  On our way there, we enjoyed the view while Rusden told us stories about his experiences when he first moved to Ketchikan

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We arrived at the park shortly

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 It was extremely cold that morning!  We were totally unprepared!  I mean, I know that we’re in Alaska and all, but so far all the other places we went to (aside from Glacier Bay) had been pretty warm. I thought Ketchikan would be the same so I just wore a dress and stockings.

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 My poor mom shivering in the cold while she listened to Rusden’s stories.  He gave us a brief history of the totem poles and explained what each one was used for.

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 He also showed us the clan house where the Native Americans had their banquets, feasts and meetings

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Rusden pointed out this small doorway, which is actually the backdoor to the clan house. It’s meant to be used during emergencies. He gave us the chance to exit here after he was done with his explanation.

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After this we walked around to look at more totem poles:

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Look how tall some of them areIMG_2621

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This is Fog Woman’s totem pole. Rudsen told us the story of how she created the salmon after she saw Raven fishing without much luck.  Raven was so happy with her gift that he asked her to marry him.  However, he ended up treating her badly, so she left and took the salmon with her.  As a result, Raven’s clan starved and started dying.  Fog Woman couldn’t bear it, so once a year she would send the salmon back upstream, along with the fog.

After the tour of the park, Rusden took us to the gift shop.  We had to pass through this wooded area.  Ezra and I had fun doing Twilight parodies here (which you can see in our vlog at the end of this entry.)

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At the gift shop, we looked for souvenirs to bring back home.  My mom really liked the story of Fog Woman so she bought a smaller version of that totem pole.

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There were lots of stuffed animals on display.  And I don’t mean plushies – I’m talking about actual animals that were stuffed and mounted on the walls.  They had Moose, deer, walrus, etc.  There was even a polar bear there. (Again, you can see them in the vlog below.)

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 Large black bear.  (Obviously this one’s not real though.)

After our tour, Rusden drove us back to the port. We still had several hours before we had to board the ship so we decided to brave the cold and do a bit of sight seeing.

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 Clever “No Smoking” sign at the Visitor’s Center 😀

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Amphibious vehicle

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There were a lot of gift shops around the area.  We spent quite a bit of time inside one of them where I ended up buying most of my pasalubong and souvenirs.

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That evening, we had our last formal dinner on the ship.  (We still had one night of the cruise left, but we had an evening tour scheduled so this was our final dinner at the dining hall.)

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 Jose preparing a Ceasar’s salad with a twist

As a farewell surprise, the crew prepared a short performance and gave each table its own Baked Alaska for dessert 🙂

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 It was so big that the four of us couldn’t finish it

After dinner, my parents and I went to the Princess Theater to catch the show.  (Ezra returned to our room halfway through dinner because she wasn’t feeling well.  She caught a cold from that morning.)

While waiting for the show to start, one of the crew members ran into the theater and yelled “I FOUND A CAMERA!” and started taking pictures like crazy, it was hilarious.
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 He came up to my dad and tried to take a picture of him.

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 Since he was so close, the camera wouldn’t focus.  He looked at the camera, made a sad face and said to my dad “It doesn’t seem to like you.” After this, whenever he would see my dad on the ship he would greet him so enthusiastically 😄

Soon, the show began.  The theme that evening was British Invasion.  I was very impressed with the costumes and the props they used.IMG_2844

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IMG_2851After the show, we headed back to our rooms to rest.  The sea was extremely turbulent that night so it was a little difficult to walk around in the ship.  Ezra had to take some motion sickness medicine because it made her so dizzy.  I don’t get motion sickness that easily but even I was bothered by all the swaying, so I went to bed early.  It was so bad that I actually lost my balance while I was in the shower and slammed into the wall.  Fortunately, the swaying wasn’t so bad when you’re lying in bed, it felt like I was being rocked to sleep by the sea 🙂

As usual we took videos that day and I compiled them into a vlog.  You can watch it below:

 

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