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Day 6 – Ketchikan

Day 6 of The Great Adventure found us in port at Ketchikan, Alaska…

Although it wasn’t rainy, it was a little breezy and cold!

We left the ship as soon as we were allowed to because we had signed up for an early excursion…the Lumberjack Show!

We got great seats…first row, lower level, so we had a great view!

The show got started on time, and the emcee explained that we, the audience, would be divided into two groups.  One would root for the “American” lumberjacks competing in the show, and the other group would be cheering for the “Canadians.”

My family fell in the Canadian half of the audience, which was perfect because Super Sis and I used to be Canadian before we became naturalized citizens.

First up was the log splitting contest…

That was our guy, and he had mad log splitting skills, winning easily!

The day’s competition consisted of several contests, so just because a side would win one contest did not mean that the other side was done for.  There were many opportunities to tie the score.

The next contest was axe throwing, during which the guys threw axes at a bulls eye.

The American guy was amazing, hitting the center on his practice and “real” throws…

Here’s a close-up, which shows just how much effort it takes to throw that axe…

Next up was the sawing contest.  Our dudes rocked!


The next contest was another log splitting contest, from a different angle though…

Dude was a beast, winning easily!

So, the next contest involved the lumberjacks rolling logs over an obstacle, taking a hose and running somewhere with it (attaching it to another log, I think), and then crossing the log that ran over the pool of water.  The teams worked as pairs, with one guy doing one part, and the other guy doing the second part.

We fell a little behind, but just as our guys were catching up, one fell down, and the Americans won.

On to the next competition!

The guys had to balance themselves on a thin, wooden stand-like thing that had been stuck in the middle of a stump while splitting a log…

What a strong guy!  He won!

Next was something of an interlude/comedy routine.  This guy was supposed to be carving out a bunny…using a chain saw (is that what the gas powered saw is called?).

He didn’t exactly carve the bunny but, instead, a small chair, which he gave to an adorable little girl pulled from the audience…

It was time to return to the contests!

Next up was the pole climbing challenge…

Those guys scurried up those poles very quickly, and once again, the Canadian side scored a victory!

Next up was the log running contest.  What fun to watch those guys try to avoid falling into the water!

By this time, both groups were tied, so everything boiled down to the final contest…log rolling!

I’ve watched these types of contests on TV, but seeing them in person was so much more fun!

It was best of three.

It was easy to see that the guys were enjoying it as much as the audience was…

The guy on the right is the current collegiate champion, which made it no surprise when our guy went down…

Time for try #2.  I was amazed by how quickly these guys could move their feet!

Our side won the second log rolling contest.  It was time for the tie breaker!  The crowd was urged to make some noise.  We did!

The guys steadied themselves and then got to it…

College boy goes down!  The emcee’s face in the background is priceless!

Dawson’s Creek (the Canadians) won!

Yo Ho!!  (what we were taught to yell throughout the competition)

The show was over.  It was now time to shop!

Oh yes.  The cruiseline-owned jewelry stores were hungry vultures…awaiting our arrival.

Let me explain how things work.

See, when you get off the ship, you get these little booklets with coupons for “free” charms just for visiting stores.

Well, what the coupons don’t tell you is that once you enter the stores, you’re lucky if you can escape, with the charms in your pockets.

The charms are used as lures to get people in for, as everyone knows, it’s hard to pass up something that’s free.

A couple of the stores’ employees were nice and handed over the goods without harassing us.

Some, however, were not so nice.

Coupon Queen wound up trying on a thousand dollar ring…for one stinking little charm.

The employee tried to get me to look as sapphires.

Ha!  I told the guy that I’m a teacher at a small private school.  I can’t afford “real” jewelry.

He didn’t care.

Rooster and I went into a different store to pick up a free pair of pearl earrings.

I handed over my coupon and had no problem.  When Rooster tried to get his pair, the guy told him that the offer was one pair per group.

I explained that we were entering as two different groups.  Technically, we were traveling with three families.

Plus, this was a cheap pair of earrings.

Give me a break.

Then, the guy said that the coupon was for ladies only.

Rooster told him that he was giving the earrings to a girl.

The guy didn’t care.

I told the man that the coupon did not state that you had to be a female to get the earrings.

The guy did not care.

Rooster said, “Fine.  I’ll go find a girl,” and he walked out of the store…only to run into Chicky, who was making her way in.

He grabbed her, gave her the coupon, and went back to the employee, who handed Chicky the earrings.

Chicky had no idea what was going on, and she turned to Rooster, shrugging her shoulders, and said, “Here.  I already have several pairs of pearl earrings.”

It was priceless and served that guy right.  I would never buy jewelry from rude store employees.  I realize we were tourists, but we could have had our pockets lined with money.

Ok.  Rant is over.

Ketchikan was beautiful, but I was not enamored with its touristy stores.  Very little, if anything, was locally made, and that was disappointing.

The scenery, however, was jaw dropping…

We walked to the wharf, which was a collection of waterfront stores.  Back in the day, sailors used to come into port and visit these houses for female “companionship.”

I really enjoyed looking around in these shops.  Sure, they contained a lot of mass produced items, but these stores were cozy and warm.

Dolly’s is the most famous “establishment” on the wharf…

The scenery here was simply gorgeous…

Back out on the street, we saw a guy who had rescued an eagle and a couple of owls that had been injured and could no longer fly…

In the next picture, you’ll see another owl.  It was actually a tiny thing…so adorable!

As with Sitka, the foliage was green because of all of the rain the area gets…

We only had four hours in port, and we shopped every minute, let me tell you.  Our feet hurt like crazy by the time we boarded the ship and ate lunch.

There were quite a few other ships visiting Ketchikan that day…

I took a few pictures from the Lido Deck…

I watched more sea planes land…

I admired the new shoes I had picked up in Ketchikan…

Yes, friends, I got my moccasins!!  These are moose skin (don’t be a hater) and are oh so soft.

After lunch, Coupon Queen, Super Sis, and I headed for the Indonesian Tea Ceremony.

Although we had expected something ceremonial, it was, in fact, just tea with goodies…

The tables in the dining room were set beautifully, and both men and women attendees were presented with menus…

Dining room stewards brought trays of goodies around.  I was a good girl and passed up on all of them; however, Super Sis and Coupon Queen indulged.  The next picture is of Super Sis’s plate…

I was satisfied with my cup of tea…

I had some time between tea and dinner, so I visited the Observation Deck and managed to get a great picture of the sun’s reflection on the ocean…

During dinner we were treated to a farewell show by the dining room stewards.  The next night would see many of the ship’s passengers in port, so it was the last chance to get everyone together.  Diners swung our napkins in the air in support of the entertainment…

I love the next photo.  This young man seemed to be having a great time.  These ladies and gentlemen spend upwards of ten months on the ship…far away from home.  It is not an easy life for them.

Dinner was delicious. My appetizer was grilled asparagus and some kind of mushroom thing, drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette…

When we were presented with the dessert menu, I knew that it was time for me to break my fast from sugar (aside from the sweet tea I’d begun drinking in June), so I ordered the Flourless Chocolate Cake, a favorite of mine from the previous cruises I’ve been on…

What is is like to eat dessert after six months of not having it?

Please allow me to describe the experience.

When I put the first bite into my mouth, it was as if I were in a car going through one of those car washes where the water jets shoot water from both sides.

My salivary glands went into overdrive.

I had to eat very slowly.  The cake was decadent…very rich and sweet.

Up to this point, fruits and vegetables had been my “desserts.”

I did a good job, nearly cleaning my plate…

As we sat around and savored the quiet moments of our dessert time (the kids had left to watch a movie, I think), I took snapshots of the fresh flowers that adorned the tables…

After dinner, Super Sis, Super D, and I visited the Crow’s Nest, where we opened one of the complimentary bottles of champagne we had found in our rooms when we had boarded the ship.  There was a fancy party going on, and part of the deck was roped off.  One of the servers brought us three glasses, and when one of the ship’s officers saw Super D inspecting the glass, he snatched it up, apologized for it not being perfectly clean (it was, by the way), and brought us a complimentary appetizer from the party.  Holland America really works hard to keep passengers happy, and we were impressed yet again.

As you can see from the picture below, the glass was obviously just fine.

Next, we headed outside to capture a few sunset photos…

Look at the sun’s rays in the next photo…

Why is it that I never grow tired of the sunset?  It’s simply divine!

Most digital camera have the option to change scene settings.  By changing the scene to “Sunset,” I was able to get the following pictures (note the different hues)…

Super D has the same camera that I do, and throughout the cruise, he enjoyed taking pictures as well…

Super Sis sat on the deck and watched us do our thing, enjoying the sunset as well…

Later that evening, the family headed down to the Queen’s Lounge to watch the gameshow “Liar’s Club,” put on by the cruise director, the comedian entertainer, one of the singers, and another ship employee.

Basically, the “contestants” were presented with a very unique word, and they had to define the word for us, the audience.  Only one of them was correct, and we had to guess who it was.

The first word went off without a hitch.

Then the second word was presented, and I knew we were in trouble.  I don’t remember which word it was, but it was sexual sounding, and so you can imagine the explanations that were coming out of the contestants’ mouths.

It was too much for me.  I was appalled.  There were children in the audience.  My youngest nephew is twelve years old, and he, along with Rooster and Music Man, both 17, really should not have been listening to that kind of stuff.

I walked out before the gameshow was over.

I went back to my room to get ready for bed.  I found this towel animal…

Day 7 promised to be a busy one, and I needed all of the rest I could get!

4 Responses

  1. The lumberjack show looks like a lot of fun. Your redheaded lumber jack has a serious head of hair!

  2. Looks like lots of fun…I am all about beautiful scenery and skipping el touristo stuff. Glad you had a nice trip!

  3. Look at that Lumberjack competition! My husband would be in hog heaven! 🙂 What a fun trip!

  4. That would be pretty cool to visit Alaska’s first city.

    Oh my! I could never stand on that wooden stand in the air.
    Climbing the pole would definitely be out.
    I am totally afraid of heights.
    However, I would like to see the competition in person.
    Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    Super Sis’s plate looks scrumptious!

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