Sunday, May 3, 2015


Downtown Ketchikan
Ketchikan Waterfront
We spent a day bicycling around Ketchikan with a stop at historic Creek Street.  Ketchikan is named for the creek which flows through town, emptying into Tongass Narrows, Ketchikan Creek (taken from the Tlingit name Kitschk-hin).  In 1883 a salmon saltery was established followed by a salmon cannery built two years later at the mouth of Ketchikan Creek. 
Bridge over Ketchikan Creek
In1904 a Shingle Mill opened in town to make barrels for salted salmon and then started the production of cedar shingles to supply Ketchikan’s building boom created by the fishing and lumber industry, and for a short time mining.  Much of the machinery was made by hand – cogs & gears, timber shafts, wheels, pulleys, and saws, all powered by a huge 22-foot waterwheel.  By 1918 the growing enterprise was relocated; Prohibition began about this time and Creek Street was the place to go for bootlegged alcohol. 
Boardwalk and Shops along Creek Street
Enterprising madams purchased the mill site lots and set up business.  It wasn’t until 1954 that these brothels were finally shut down.  Today, the historic buildings along Creekside wharf serve as shops, visited by thousands of tourists who come to town over the spring and summer months; tourism is now Ketchikan’s money making industry.  As we walked along the boardwalks on Creek Street, shop keepers were getting ready for the first Cruise Ship to arrive and breathe life into downtown once again. 
Creek Street, Ketchikan
We also enjoyed visiting a couple of restaurants in town, including the Fish Pirates Saloon where we had lunch with a great view overlooking Tongass Narrows. 
The Creek
We had an absolutely wonderful evening with Phil and Uno over dinner at an adorable restaurant near Bar Harbor Marina.  They treated us to dinner as a thank you for our assistance in helping them through unfamiliar waters.  Before they had met up with us, their computer had crashed to the floor and was damaged so they were reduced to using only paper charts.  As the evening wore on, the dinner conversation drifted towards sharing flying stories as might be expected with two pilots at the table; I must admit it was fun reminiscing about some of our past experiences in the air vs. in the water.

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