Sunday, July 5, 2009

Another small town 4th of July 7.5.09

Ketchikan is such a fantastic place. It's hard to describe the feeling of only being here a couple of months and walking down the street waving to many people driving by. Or just the joy of enjoying seeing the families having fun in town. No violence, just good clean fun. The 4th of July was so much fun.

It started out by me having to work! DOH!!! I had volunteered for the shift as it was scheduled for 1pm, which would have allowed me to watch the parade. You all know how much I love a parade! :-) But I got a phone call around 6:45am by Tina telling me the time was changed to 11:00. DAMN! Oh well. I put Michael in charge of the camera as he was also working, though he didn't have a tour, he was helping on the docks with Duck ticket sales so the parade had to pass right by him. I had to park about 3 blocks from where I picked up my clients as the parade was right through town and we had to get on the opposite side of the main street to be able to leave town. I met my clients early and we jammed out to the North side of town to begin the tour. We had a spectacular day. Some clients are just so much easier to be with than others and this was one such group. Very fun, friendly, & were enjoying everywhere we went. We headed to some of my favorite haunts - Potlach park where you can see a totem pole being carved up close, sometimes even meeting the carver, has a spectacula clan house, and an antique car & firearm museum, up to Slide Mountain - a spot we can drive up 1000ft for spectacular views and a picnic, the Ward Creek trail, a lovely hike through the rainforest and out onto a viewing platform where sometimes we can see fish, then out to the South end of town where we went to Herring Cove. Now Herring Cove can be a hotspot at times and dead other times! Right now the King Salmon are swimming upstream to spawn so if we're lucky we can see them in the water just below us. Because the salmon are in the area, there are usually several eagles in the area as well, and even better - Bears! Today we were incredibly lucky. Not only were the King Salmon swimming all around, even jumping out of the water, there were two bears that were fishing! We even watched as one ran through the water and caught one in his mouth! It was awesome. And remember how I told you I gave Michael the camera?! Yep, you guessed it - I didn't have a camera to take any photos! Oh well...I'm sure I'll see it again. It is so incredible to see though! The fish are HUGE!! And the eagles are all up in the trees, all along the water, and flying around.

Once I got my folks back to their ship, it was my turn to take in the 4th of July events! We ran the Hummer up to the barn, parked our vehicle at the boat and walked back downtown. We made it just in time for the Annual Rotary rubber ducky race. You purchase a rubber duck for $10 and they drop them into the creek, letting them flow all the way down the creek, through the eddies, rapids, & rocks, and then into the marina where they have a funnel setup and 'catch' the winning ducks as it crosses the finish line. It starts off fast - the colorful little ducks (yellow, pink & blue) are cruising down the rapids along the rocks

The rubber ducky race in Ketchikan on the 4th of July

and then it opens up into the marina so the ducks were just meandoring to the finish line.

The rubber ducky race in Ketchikan on the 4th of July

People lined the entire route on both sides of the creek from where they were dropped in all the way to the finish line (the bridge). It was being broadcast 'live' with play by plays by members of the Rotary. It was too cute!

Oh, and I forgot all about the FREE rootbeer floats!

Free rootbeer floats at the 4th of July celebration in Ketchikan

We then headed over to the Lumberjack show as they were having a competition that was aired on National TV called the Ironjack competition. There were 8 competitors and they competed in 6 events - pole climbing (up and down 50ft), boom running (running across logs in the water), axe throwing, an event I forget the name but it was a relay where they had to complete 3-4 items and finish, single saw blade, and single axe chop. It was incredible! It was also FREE so the place was packed with folks. They were serving beer & hotdogs or sodas and everyone had a great time! Those competitors are just incredible...I would not make it! haha...

We walked around all of the booths in town, checked out some of the live music going on, and walked back to the boat. Afterall, it was about 9pm, still light outside, and there were fireworks to watch at 11pm!! Yep, that's not a typo - it doesn't begin to get dark until after 10pm so the fireworks went off at 11 and they were superb. Fun shapes, all colors & varieties. And we could watch from the boat.

Michael got to see the parade, but the battery failed on the camera so there are only a couple of photos. He said there were lots of floats and the parade lasted almost 2 hours. They had floats for the 1969, 79, 89, & 99 graduating classes, every organization you can imagine, and lots of spirit! Before the 'main' parade, the Kiddie parade started which was also a hit.

The kiddie parade in Ketchikan 4th of July

The cruise ship passengers could stay in their cabin and watch from the dock!

4th of July parade in Ketchikan

There were lots of other things going on during the day - a car show, pie sale, activities for the kids, booths, etc.

OH, and I forgot to tell you the BEST part! It was SUNNY! And in the upper 70's, an absolutely stunning day. The locals say it's the only 4th it hasn't been cold or raining (last year it was storming) for the past 6 years! So you can bet everyone was out having fun. Lots of boats out & about. I don't think it could have been any better. You'll remember last year we spent the day in a small town in California - they are the place to go!

I hope you all had as wonderful of a 4th as we did. We miss everyone a ton!

We also had a visit from a friend of ours who arrived on a cruise ship the day before. Jerry Behrens, Scott's dad (Scott & Liz who live in Nicaragua) and step-mom were up traveling through Alaska and looked us up when they arrived. We got to meet up with Jerry and have a couple beers. It was great seeing him again and is always nice to see a familiar face!

Jerry Behrens with Michael & I in Ketchikan

More to follow...

We've been seeing a HUGE man-o-war jellyfish in the marina lately so I couldn't help but snap a photo of him. I wouldn't want to tangle with him!

A man-o-war jellyfish


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home