Alaska Stories and Tips

Ketchikan on foot.

Ketchikan  Photo, Alaska, United States

Ketchikan was our first port, pop. 14,000 mainly dependent on fishing, logging and tourism. The area is rich in Native American culture with strong influnce from the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshan cultures.
I was ready to go ashore as soon as the boat was tied up. My husband wanted to wait until the time for our shore excursion. I left him and set out for a walk about.
I considered attending service at the Lutheran Church of Ketchikan, but after looking at the flight of stairs I would have to climb, I figured the service would be over before I got there. At the shop next to the dock I did find a $1 coke machine and took a stash of coke cans back to the stateroom. Also found trinkets and post cards.
The harbor was abuzz with float planes and eagles.
Both were interesting to watch.
In the afternoon we were dropped off (by our tour guide from the shore excursion) near Creek Street. This notorious section of Ketchikan was once lined with brothels. Bill rested on a bench near the start of the Creek Street board walk. He chatted with a local character and his dog. I went in search of food and drink. Came up with a coffee shop for lattes and sinfully rich muffins for our noontime meal.
We visited Dolly's House, a museum of a brothel. There were romanticized pictures of Dolly at several ages, and by golly she held her looks for a long time. The men of Ketchikan must have been kind to her. Her house was overfilled with trashy trinkets...some we recognized from houses of our elderly relatives. There was a hidden bar in a hall wall, left over from prohibition days. Dolly also had a secret backdoor entrance for the married men to sneak in unobserved.
Most of the other brothels on Creek street are now shops. We visited a few before returning to the ship.

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