Ketchikan Log Rolling

This is our last stop in Alaska and the town is hugely dependent on cruise ships, they can berth four in the downtown area (and three are occupied today) with one or two more at our berth about 15 minutes out of town.

We pass Ketchican International Airport, as it has one flight to Canada each week, on our way into town where we are visiting the lumberjack show.  No sign of Monty Python as the four jacks demonstrate chopping, sawing, climbing and log rolling plus some inane jokes which keeps the crowd cheerfully entertained, jeering and booing is encouraged as well, so it feels just like a Southampton home match at the moment.

The drive through the town is slow as tourists are here in huge numbers.  The cruise ship season used to end in October but there is a plan to stretch into November next year to recover some of the list revenue from the covid period but our driver feels the weather is unlikely to be sufficiently kind for the travellers.

Our second destination is the Saxman native village where we are given a demonstration of native dancing which I feel loses something in translation.  We are then introduced to their collection of totem poles and the stories told be the carvings on the poles.  There is a workshop where carvers work but we can see their work but no actual carving is in progress today.

More interestingly the guide’s talk about the village house which has been built in traditional ways tells us a number of things, the modern doors to comply with health and safety composers to the original small door which would only asks one person at a time so protecting those inside.  Each adult would have a single plank to match the individual’s height which could be lifted out allowing personal possessions to be stored in the space below.  There is a large central fire pit which was always kept alight.  The reconstruction had used traditional methods so the individual floorboards rock as you walk but again in deference to current safety there is fire in the central pit.

We return to the ship and dinner is in Chartreuse the French restaurant on board and we have an excellent meal before advancing clocks by an hour again, another 23 hour day!