Saturday, June 2, 2012

no escape from the rain...

My most recent adventure... Ketchikan Alaska.   It is a six hour, slow, ferry ride north of here.  The rain doesn’t let up, the temperatures don’t improve and the permeating dampness doesn’t abate.  I’m glad I went.  DH had a meeting, so Chicken Little and myself walked on the ferry leaving the dog to fend for herself with a friend to curl up with, and a cat to chase. 

We arrived in a downpour and limped across the street and into the hotel...  the three of us tucked up in the little double bed listening to the rain.   Come morning, while DH set off for meeting, I loaded Chicken Little into the stroller, flung over the rain shield, put on my rain jacket and we set out to see what we could see.

The wind blew, the fog draped itself over the landscape and swirled mystically in the trees, the rain pattered down and the temperatures had me wrapping my fingers around any cup of coffee that came my way.   The hardy souls of Ketchikan don’t so much live on the hillside overlooking the water.. they have chiselled out spaces for their homes in the rocky cliff-side, the moss and greenery tumbling down around it.  Streets and roads reach upwards at frightening angles, and when the side hill gets too steep for cars, they simply hung a street sign and built a staircase instead.  

Tourists throng the waterfront, pedestrians from the cruise ships that come to call. There are 3 types of people who cruise. The newlywed, the nearly dead, and the overfed.  This is nothing new.  And of course wherever there's a cruise ship port, there's a lot of jewellery, liquor, perfume and curios, T-shirts and souvenirs...   Most are owned by the Cruise Ship companies...  the connection between cruise ships and shopping is nothing new...  but really.... with 38 separate jewellery stores in a 4 block downtown radius you have to wonder if they couldn’t come up with something more original.

Outside of Jewellery store land, empty store fronts show signs of the economy much as they do in my own community.  It left me to wonder about the fate of my own community, once dominated by fishermen and the markets that kept them supplied in goods, beer and women.   Is our future doomed to the attack of the oversized playpen and the industry’s associated money making schemes, blatant disregard for the environment, exploitation of workers, and the garbage and sewage left in their wake.  

But doom and gloom aside  the most bizarre incident of our adventure was the purchase of a Camper in Ketchikan.  Although it’s in Chilliwack.  Did I mention I don’t live anywhere near Chilliwack,  and Ketchikan isn’t anywhere near Chilliwack either....   

DH was browsing on line for some sort of RV – he’s been doing this for 8 years.  He found one, a great price.  He called the guy -  who said.. he was leaving in 15 minutes.  DH said he’d talk after the vacation.  Only the guy said. .no we are LEAVING... as in... moving to Hawaii – catching the ferry to Bellingham, loading the truck on a barge, and flying to Hawaii... in 15 minutes.  I caught up with DH as he was j-walking across the street to the ferry terminal.   Less than 48 hours later... the camper was purchased, in our name, and parked in Chilliwack awaiting our arrival...

I enjoyed Ketchikan – although it wouldn’t be on my list of places to visit again (although I did manage to have some fun, on an afternoon on a zip line adventure while soaking up the local rain ) – I am more partial to places with warmth, and sunshine for my tourist endeavours,  and I look forward to many camping adventures in our new Camper! 

A passport, as I'm sure you know, is a document that one shows to government officials whenever one reaches a border between countries, so the officials can learn who you are, where you were born, and how you look when photographed unflatteringly.  ~Lemony Snicket


  1. Despite the grey and rain, it sounds and looks wonderful... well maybe not the shopping, especially all the jewellery shopping. That's a lot of jewellery. I'm hoping to get up to Alaska this year for the first time. Wonderful shots!

    1. thanks -

      You take such wonderful photos.. i'm humbled by your praise.

      i'm told Juneau has a bit more to offer the more well traveled tourist.