“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean”. – John Muir
2001 Memories of a Non-Wandering Wanderer
The ferry made a six-hour stop in Ketchikan on its second day of travel after leaving Haines, Alaska. To make the most of the experience, I took advantage of a guided tour, knowing I would see more this way than on my own.
A stop at Saxman Totem Park, just south of Ketchikan, was first on the agenda. The park exhibits include relocated poles from abandoned Tlingit villages, or ones recreated by Tlingit carvers as part of a 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps’ project. The park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
The next stop was Ketchikan Creek to watch salmon. Our guide said the fish have been running up the creek to spawn for thousands of years. The availability of the salmon was why the Tlingits set up summer fishing camps in the area. In turn, the camps brought the Europeans to the area for trading purposes. I felt a part of history watching the salmon as they swam past in the shallow creek.
Back in downtown Ketchikan, I saw the unique tunnel connecting two sections of the city, and admired the huge carved eagle – Thundering Wings – that stood nearby. The tour ended at Dolly’s, the home of a renown prostitute.
Afterwards I toured the quaint tourist shops and bought a painting of a stylized raven, one of the more prominent symbols carved into totem poles. The Tlingit raven stories are many, ranging from the humorous to the serious. And it seemed fitting, because of my birdwatching passion, that the raven painting – with the exception of postcards for my journal – would be my only purchased souvenirs during my trip.
What I primarily took home with me were memories, every one of which was worth recalling.
Bean Pat: Overcoming procrastination http://tinyurl.com/gvdd4uc What’s your trick. Mine, when I don’t feel like writing, is to write one sentence, then read or wash dishes for a few minutes, then write one more sentence and repeat. By the third or fourth sentence, I can usually keep writing for an hour or so, or until the work in progress is finished.