Day 5: Time change! New time zone allowed us to sleep in one extra hour! Still, up at the new 5:30 for breakfast buffet and out to meet our guide! We had a lovely local woman take us to Potlatch Park, a native village with totem pole carvings. We met an expert carver, saw replicas of native housing, saw an antique car collection, and even saw a wild bald eagle! He is an adolescent who hasn’t ‘balded’ yet. We picked up a few touristy things in their gift shop.
Next, we went to a salmon hatchery that also had a bald eagle rescue! We saw a lovely couple of rescued ladies who can’t be returned to the wild. One was taken down after flying into electric wire, the other broke her wing in a fishing net. They started yelling at each other, which looked pretty cool. We learned about the different species of salmon, and what they were doing to help restore the wild salmon population.
Ketchikan is an adorable little town of about 14,000 residents. The average July temperature is 58 degrees F, with annual rainfall of about 13 feet. We happened to make it on the hottest and sunniest day of the year for them! We walked all around the downtown area, checking out many of their (mostly touristy) shops. Next time we visit, we will have to check out their world-famous lumberjack show, but we didn’t have time for that today. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had ‘extended service’ for Verizon! Even limited 3G! Unfortunately, cruises have not yet jumped on the bandwagon of free Wi-Fi. It costs about $0.79/minute at either their Internet café or on our laptops in our rooms.
Later, we enjoyed a late afternoon tea and a dance show before enjoying a late dinner in the restaurant. We ended up sitting at 9:30 and served about 10, but there was still full sun with a perfect view of the nearby islands floating in the Pacific. It was Italian night, so we enjoyed an assortment of Italian dishes and many courses. For dessert, I got a delicious almond-honey gelato. They had a special tonight of $5 for a Limóncello shot with a free souvenir Princess shot glass! We also decided to purchase some of their candid photo prints. They were expensive, about $20 per page, but they looked so good, it would cost much more than that for a comparable sitting fee. Who knows when I will look that nice again!
Overall, it was a great day, and I look forward to our adventures tomorrow in Juneau.