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North to Alaska - Sherrila Only - Day 57 (July 12)

Monday - We finished the leftover chicken and, preparing for another night ferry ride, checked out of the motel, organized the trailer (which they graciously let us leave in their parking lot), and went down town to look at the harbor area. We walked by 3 huge cruise ships with their passengers flowing down the gangplanks, clogging the streets and filling the shops. A few people got in a line to see the "Lumberjack Contest," but most went looking for the perfect gift to convince their relatives that they had actually been to Alaska. We joined the throng, window shopping for awhile, enjoying the sights (a myriad of clothing styles) and sounds (many languages), smug in the knowledge that we had actually seen Alaska, not merely picked at its edges.

Then we drove to the Totem Heritage Center where we examined some original totems, displayed inside following their retrieval from abandoned Native Villages, and watched a totem carving team at work. Across the creek at the Deer Mountain Tribal Hatchery and Eagle Center we listened to the explanation of their efforts to release 350,000 king, coho, steelhead and rainbow trout annually; then Garrett and Ben had fun trying to spook the larger fish to make an interesting picture. We were also introduced to a pair of rescued eagles, very healthy looking despite wing injuries, in a large enclosure complete with trees, a flowing stream and indigenous plants. Back in town M & B wandered along Creek Street, built on pilings over Ketchikan Creek, passing reclaimed wooden structures some of which were bordellos during the early years. Now they are art galleries, fast food outlets, Dolly's House Museum and the ever-present gift shops.

We made our last Alaska souvenir purchases (two tee-shirts for Ben) and looked around for a place to have a good fish dinner. (It seemed that after the cruise ship passengers left town most of the businesses shut down.) We took the Cape Fox House Funicular up to a hotel and restaurant overlooking the city, but their restaurant prices were for the tour ship crowd. Then we discovered Annabelle's Famous Keg & Chowder House in a downtown hotel, where we had our "last night in Alaska" dinner of beautifully prepared halibut and salmon. Back at the motel we hitched up The Bean and crossed the street to the ferry terminal, where we were supposed to check in at 10:45 PM for the trip to Prince Rupert, in Canada.