Ketchikan was the last city my parents and I visited on our Alaska Inside Passage vacation, and to tell the truth, I was a little disappointed.
We had hoped to visit Misty Fjords National Monument to see the 3000-foot rock walls jutting out of the ocean. But it was foggy and raining, and so our flightseeing tour was canceled. I started off on a tour to go sea kayaking among orcas, but it, too, was canceled due to the weather.
Ketchikan is famous for its weather, getting nearly 13 feet of rainfall each year. The town proudly displays this fact on the prominent "liquid sunshine" rain gauge you see near the place where the cruise ships dock.
Despite the disappointing rain, Ketchikan is still a beautiful place, just like the rest of south east Alaska.
Here's what it looks like as you arrive on the ferry:
Here's the cute "Creek Street", where tour guides tell fun stories about people using canoes and trap doors to smuggle bootleg whiskey into the homes and businesses along there during the Prohibition era.
If you visit Ketchikan, you can be entertained at the Great American Lumberjack Show, where the big burly guys compete against each other for your applause:
You can visit the Totem Bight park and see tons of totem poles:
You can smile at some of the "streets" that have names and appear on the map, even though they are really just stairs climbing up the side of a mountain:
I was charmed by these flowers growing in boots at a home near there:
My favorite part of Ketchikan, though, was watching the high school football team practice:
Because they get so much rain, a grass field would be WAY too muddy to play on, so the kids play on asphalt instead. They're tough. They don't let a little rain (or a lot of it) stop them.
Life is football practice sometimes. In the rain. On the asphalt. During those times, I hope to remember the Ketchikan kids, and persevere in the rain, just like they did.