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Now for something completely unrelated to stamping!  (be sure to check the blog for the swaps I uploaded today if getting this in your email) 

We finally got to some land – Ketchikan, which on the welcome sign  boasts being Alaska’s first city. Not sure if that’s longevity, or just the first form of civilization that we hit after leaving Seattle. Either way, we were glad to be there.

We had already decided that in Ketchikan we would take advantage of a walking tour (pronounced “ter” by our group) map we found online and do our own informational and historic tour of the area.

Matt played tour guide, and kept the group moving past taxidermy shops, totem poles and salmon spawning areas. We started the tour with our friends, Patsy and Tom Waggoner, Jan and Darrell Burnett, Deb and Kevin Valder and Tim and Karen Titus. Along the way, we added another couple from another cruise ship named Ted and Brianna who were crusing from Boston. They thought our tour was more interesting than what they had planned, so they picked up with us as we left the Totem Pole Heritage Center. That’s also where we lost Jan and Darrell to the lure of Ketchikan shopping.

The tour was really enhanced by the “addtional information” Patsy added to the stops to make them more interesting, and the keen eye of Kevin who spotted both a bobcat and a crane, both in their natural habitat. (Okay, so these two were of the mechanical variety, but still, they were sighted!)

Our new friends from Boston thought we were nutty enough, and kept remarking, “you got the cruise by selling… stamps??” You betcha! What really sent them over the edge was when we started talking about geocaching. We explained the process and how we have a history of wigging our the locals, and I think their confidence in us a tour guides started to wain.

Linda had found that there was a cache nearby, and we set out to find it. The Bostonians helped, and even another couple that happened to be walking by joined in the hunt. Luckily, there was a very friendly resident peeking out of her window, and she gave us a few key hints that made finding it so much easier. Geochaching in Alaska… check!

It was time for lunch, and we met up again with Jan and Darrell. Our Boston friends went their own way, and Tim and Karen decided to head off in search of the perfect hat. The rest of us rode the trolley up the mountain to the Cape Fox Lodge, which gave a beautiful overlook of Ketchikan. Lunch was quite tasty, and a welcome break from a hectic tour/geocaching schedule.

After lunch, Kevin, Deb, Linda and I decided to head back to Dolly’s house on Creek Street, which was one of the most famous (and busy) brothels during the gold rush era. Somewhere Linda has a picture of Kevin and I handing someone money out in front of Dolly’s, however it was for admission to the museum, and nothing else!

Today is the Tracy Arm Fjord and Juneau.  Relaxing day so far… tomorrow is Skagway and the Chilkat Eagle Preserve.  So looking forward to it!

More to come…

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