When I first went to Alaska in 2002, I fell in love with the incredible landscape. My parents took me on a cruise through the Inside Passage, and had the chance to see mountain ranges, glaciers, and wildlife like I'd never witnessed before. Returning again, fifteen years later, I'm still impressed. We took the same route as before, adding in a couple of extra stops, but I had the chance to do some hiking at each stop and actually get a better feel of the land. Obviously, this is still a scratching of the surface when it comes to the Alaska wilderness, and Aimee and I are excited to back, but we are stoked with what were were able to see within walking distance from the ports.
Leaving out of Vancouver, the blue skies of that evening would be the last of our trip. The weather of Alaska summers is unpredictable, and the remainder of the week was overcast.
Facing east, the cloud cover had already set in. The sunset was an awesome gift to start the week off.
Thanks to the four hour time difference, I woke up at 4:45am on Friday morning and went out for the sunrise. I figured I'd be the only one up, but I was surprised to find a few other folks were out as well.
Our first stop was Ketchikan. Dad had booked us a fishing charter, so we were up and off the ship by 6:30a to meet our guide, Ryan, who owned Best Weigh Guide Service and his boat, Outcast.
We were primarily fishing for halibut and salmon, but ending up catching a nice variety. At the end of the day we had four halibut, eight rock fish, five cod, and six salmon. Dad is shipping the meat back to us, so we'll be enjoying fresh fish for awhile.
As we were headed back, Ryan spotted some bald eagles and said "Watch this. And get your camera ready." He gutted a salmon and began to whistle.
Our second stop was at Icy Strait Point, a port owned by the Huna Totem Corporation (a native run organization). Centered around a restored salmon cannery a mile outside of Hoonah, Ice Strait Point was probably the most "touristy" location, but it really well done. There was a museum, a short nature trail, and a few restaurants.
We decided to walk the 1.5 miles down to Hoonah after the short nature trail. It is a small town, seemingly still rather new to being a tourist destination.
I'll stop here and pick up Juneau, the Mendenhall Glacier, Scagway, and more on the next post! Thanks for reading!