Our first port stop was Ketchikan, Alaska. Ketchikan is a fishing town, and the salmon were spawning into Thomas Harbor.
Our first stop: Totem Bight State Park, via the good ‘ole public Alaskan bus service. I got a coffee from the corner mermaid coffee shop and found the Silver line bus stop, leading to the State Park entrance. The bus took us outside of town to Totem Bight State Park, a site dedicated to preserving the history and culture of totems, while offering breathtaking views of the bay and bald eagles flying overhead.
We took the bus back to town and made friends with our fellow frugal cruise passengers and a National Forest Ranger who was late for work. He gave us a local’s perspective on living in Alaska and how the cruise industry helps the local economy here.
The bus dropped us off at the historic Creek Street district. Once known for its brothels and speak-easys, Creek Street now boasts several gift shops and an incredible view of the salmon spawning up the creek. We learned that of the five types of salmon, only two are still swimming: the less appetizing Chum and the red King Salmon. To memorize all five types of salmon, use the hand trick. Using each finger on your hand, starting with the extending thumb (chum), pointer finger (pointing like you want to say “I’m gonna sock you in your eye”, Sockeye), middle finger (your tallest finger, King), ring finger with its silver wedding band (Silver), and the pinky (Pink).