After spending all winter in Munich, Cody Wyoming, Utah, Georgia and Florida, it’s back home to Totland on the AK ferry Columbia. This is the only boat that does it right–white table cloths, waiters and a good cold beer. The AK ferry system has closed all the bars, gift shops on all boats–to save money. Now I thought it would be more practical to sell one of the propellers or perhaps a lifeboat or two….but close the bars? If they can’t make money selling booze on a ferry boat, there is no hope!
Our first stop after leaving Bellingham is Ketchikan–usually arriving early Sunday morning. Here is the new plaza bronze depicting the citizenry throughout Alaskan history–Tlingit, Aviator, fisherman, etc. A visit to Cape Fox Lodge up the hillside lift is a must–one of the best ‘museums’ in Alaska.
At last count there are 52 jewelry stores in Ketchikan–run by East Indians (from India). How bad is that? The shops are largely owned by the cruise ship companies–which close their doors in the winter leaving the core downtown area dead. Up to four ships obscure the town in the height of the season putting another 10,000 folks on shore. We voted overwhelmingly (about 90%) to keep these behemoths out of Petersburg.
Here is the second ship of the season. The Solstice holds 4350 folks, boasts several restaurants and a theater that seats 1400 people. Below is Petersburg’s version……
The St. Lazaria is a beauty. I actually tried to buy this boat right after the Winimac sunk in 1991. It’s currently packing fish–her owner keeps her spotless. Her original lifeboat is currently restored and going into the new Naust, or boatshed, currently under construction.
Well, it’s back to sticker shock but at least this is organic.
We arrive in time for Syttende Mai, Constitution Day in Norway. First thing I do is fire up the 1961 Gravely–with a lawn/brush mower that will remove limbs…..yours.
The sun made an appearance the day we left B’ham and continued for over 30 days–good time for a gin & tonic in the back yard….. Stay tuned!