Ketchikan calls itself “Rain City” and can receive more than 200 inches of “liquid sunshine” a year. The weather this morning looked like we were in for a typical Southeast Alaska sort of day, but by 10 am the clouds blew away and a remarkable string of warm sunny days continued. We spread out through the town. The crew of Ajax checked out the famous Alaska Logging Show, an extremely entertaining and over-the-top spectacle of testosterone-laden woodcraft. Others explored the totem park, the museums, and the downtown shops, which offer an interesting range of uniquely Alaskan arts, crafts, and foods. Where else could you buy moose jerky, Tlingit carvings, golden salmon earrings, or a bearskin rug all within two blocks of each other?The highlight of the day came in the afternoon, the daughter of Noel and Bonnie aboard Patos, Chris, who is a captain for the Alaska Marine Highway system, led us aboard the Alaska State Ferry Takufor a behind the scenes tour of the massive ship. We all took in the impressive view from the bridge 60 feet above the water, and drooled over the colossal handmade German diesel engines in the engine room. When it was finally time to go we had to drag our mechanic Brian out by his ear!We capped off the evening with a delicious dinner at Annabelle’s, a historic former bordello on main street with a beautiful antique bar and pressed tin ceilings. The service was excellent and the food even better!After a nightcap at the Potlatch, a historic local dive bar at the head of the dock, we turned in, ready to continue exploring tomorrow!

A little tidbit which might be of interest: Captain Brian used to frequent the Potlatch bar back in his 20’s when he worked as a logger in Alaska.  He says it was even “divier” of a bar back then and the stories he could tell from there could fill an evening (or more!) with laughter and entertainment long into the night. – Amy Pemberton (Daughter # 3)

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