Wednesday, October 23, 2013

By Marine Highway and Train

The season in Ketchikan ended with a whimper.  My last couple of tours were cancelled due to a storm with high winds.   And so, the season just ended without a last day, goodbyes, or a sense of completion.

But I spent the stormy days packing up and preparing my apartment for the move out inspection.  And by the time Chris flew in to make the trip south with me, the weather was clear and delightful. 

The Alaskan Marine Ferry departure wasn't until 3 pm so we spent the day watching the salmon make their way up Ketchikan Creek to spawn and doing some final photography around the island.  Unfortunatly the bears were not out at Herring Cove. My bear sightings for the summer were rather limited and disappointing after some of the experiences I had in Glacier and Yellowstone.

The following group of photos are of Ketchikan that last day,  They include shots from land and from the ferry as it  headed down Tongass Narrows on its journey south.

Salmon resting in a section of the fish ladder

Salmon jumping rapids to reach spawning grounds

This salmon is attempting to enter the fish ladder.   This route is easier than the main stream, but is still a challenge and I watched many coming back down against their will.

Saxman Village, clan house and totem poles

With no cruise ships in town it is a quiet day in downtown Ketchikan.  It is a rare day too, because of the sunny, bright conditions.

The St. Nona on the right, the St. Innocent and the Sea Lion Express were all part of the
Allen Marine Tours Fleet and I worked on all of them, although the St. Nona and St. John (not shown) were the
mainstays of my summer.

My neighborhood in Ketchikan, as seen from the deck of the ferry

View of Pennock Island.  I passed this each day on tours, but never photographed it until I was on the Alaska Marine Ferry headed to the Lower 48.

Here is the view as our ferry leaves the dock north of town.

The next set of photos are along the way.  We did see Humpback Whales and Dall's Porpoises from the ferry deck. 

We saw Humpback Whales several times on our journey

Dalls porpoises are often seen as rooster tail splashes

You can camp on the deck of the ferry, sleep in the lounge chairs on the deck or in a spot indoors, or you can get a cabin.


We caught the train from Bellingham to Seattle's King Street Station.  Beautiful station and our hotel was within walking distance.   However, the sunny weather of Ketchikan and the trip south ended when we reached Bellingham.   Our day in Seattle was fairly wet, but we still did some exploring on foot, ate dinner in the oldest restaurant in town (something we also did in Washington DC a few weeks later).  


King Street Station at night, from our hotel

We were treated to a fireworks display at the downtown Seattle stadium

Boarding Amtrak for our trip from Seattle to Martinez, CA.   I did this same trip, back in the days before Amtrak.  It was fun to take the route again.  Many of the places along the way looked familiar from visiting in my RV or car.   I recognized neighborhoods in Mt. Vernon, WA, the REI store in Eugene, OR from having spent time there.

We were nice and snug inside the train as it rained heavily for two days.   The cars have been nicely refurbished and the trip was pleasant.

No comments:

Post a Comment