America By Rail Blog

posted on May 11, 2015

Last year my wife and I made our third trip to Alaska. I have a good friend, Captain Russell, who is a commercial fisherman in Ketchikan.  When our ship came into port we joined Russell and his wife for a fantastic fresh halibut lunch at one of the local restaurants.  Following lunch we watched harbor seals chasing salmon in Fish Creek before heading to their beautiful water-front home. We dropped our wives off and drove out to Totem Bight State Park. He showed me around the totem poles, and pointed out various plants and berries that were in abundance.  We then continued north until the road ended at Settlers Cove State Park. I was astounded at the size of the trees and the density of the foliage. Many people do not realize this region is part of a temperate rain forest, and this place really shows off the results. There is a beautiful waterfall and there were pink salmon or “humpies” as the locals refer to them, in the creek.

Upon returning to their house I took note of a maple tree in the front yard. There is moss growing all over the tree, and then ferns growing out of the moss! The climate in Ketchikan is actually more temperate than here in the upper Midwest. It seldom gets below freezing and seldom snows. They did, however, receive over 160 inches (THATS OVER 13 FEET!) of rain last year, which I'm told is about average.

If you've not yet experienced our super-sized 49th state, I invite you to take a look at our Alaska Rail/Sail Adventure; it includes visits to Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka and the magnificent Glacier Bay National Park. 

I heard a woman make a comment regarding the 5-1 ratio of men to women in Alaska:  The odds are good, but the goods are odd!”

Tim Swartz, President

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