Sunday, April 19, 2009

There's lots to learn! 4.19.09

Welcome to Ketchikan

We've had a good week so far, have been learning lots! There is a ton of stuff to learn and although history has never been my forte I'm learning as much as possible. Indians and all of thier clans, moieties, lineage, stories, totems - good god how many totem poles and stories behind them ARE there?!! haha!! And each one has a story!! There's not just one totem park, there's 4! With 20 or so totems at each of them, not to mention all of the totems all around town, it's a lot to learn.

The totems at Saxman Totem Park

It was sunny the first 3 days we were here, and rainy the past 4. It's supposed to be not-rainy about 3 days next week too. The 1st cruise ship comes into town on Wednesday but we're not working that day, we work the following week - Wednesday and then Saturday. Then I think I work one day, and Michael works another day. After that - it's 5-7 days a week....until the end of October! Whew! It gives me plenty of time to train, on my own dime. Luckily, it isn't costing us a thing to get into places - we just tell them we work for the Hummer tours and we're let in at no charge, given any & all training materials we want, and get personalized info. Ask a question, get an answer. We've met lots of people and everyone is very nice. Very welcoming & pleasant. We're in an apartment until the boat is ready, which will be a bummer leaving. It's nice & cozy, has internet & pretty much everything we need. Although, we're out in the boonies, way away from town (HAha!!). The town is 18 miles North of downtown, 12 miles South. There's lots of hiking as the island is large but the town is small.

So far, we've been to Saxman Totem Park, Totem heritage center, Southeast Discovery Center, Totem Bight, & Potlach park. We haven't been on any hikes, but plan to do that when it's sunny this week. There are 2 hikes we can take guests on. We have setup our own training class with the local U.S. Forest service representative who will take us on a hike & show us all kinds of stuff. I'm pretty stoked about that and have been trying to study up so I have a clue when we go out. Difference between trees - shrubs, berries, lichens, mosses, birds, wildflowers, bears, etc.

I've learned the 5 types of Salmon (who knew?!), what they look like & what they're used for!

5 Types of Salmon in Alaska

Bald Eagles are all over. I've seen 4 so far - one out on a pole, one flying right above us and landing in a tree just above us. Then two were out over the water & landed on a dock we were watching.

Two eagles flying over the water

It was way cool. I was pretty much screaming at Michael - LOOK!! I hope I don't freak out in front of my passengers like that. I have to work on being calm. Yeah, like that will happen. haha... There are over 500 ships stopping in Ketchikan - with over 886,000 people coming through. Whew! This is Alaska's 50th anniversary so there's lots of anniversary events happening this summer. We got the Van registered & titled in Alaska and have a nice new license plate that kinda matches! haha... So...lots of stuff going on here. Lots of learning. Lots of new stuff, new people, new places.

I uploaded more photos, check them out! Enjoy...


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