What goes Quack, Quack? No, not a duck, a Duck Tour. A bus load of adult tourists acting like children, encouraged by the tour guide to hoot and holler and blow into their duck bill whistles, making pretty bad imitations of a duck call.
Duck Tours are conducted on an amphibious vehicle capable of not only driving on dry land but also entering water and sailing like a motorboat. You get a conventional tour of the city as well as a unique perspective from the water. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable in the history and highlights of Ketchikan, known as “The First City of Alaska”, its rich history of salmon fishing and canning, lumber industry, and the bawdy past, all being brought to life with her narration. She was extremely enthusiastic, perhaps too much so, bordering on being corny and all the while spewing one duck joke after another.
Our tour drove by the highlights of Ketchikan. Along the main street, by the large rain gauge which shows how much average rain Ketchikan receives annually. It is an amazing 14 feet. Yes, you read right, 14 feet. They don’t measure rain by the inch up here but in feet. Ofcourse it was raining when we were here. Well, not really rain but a hard mist.
We drove by Creek Street, the postcard picture perfect scene of houses built on stilts over the creek. This is the historic area of town where 22 bordellos operated in the early 1900’s. Most of the houses have long ago been converted to gift shops and restaurants. It’s past has been preserved as a museum in the most famous of the bordellos, Dolly’s House.
Other highlights included the outside of “The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show”. You can read all about this show in a previous blog from 9/14/11 titled “Paul Bunyon Was Here!”, use this link.. http://wp.me/p1bbrx-64. A small downtown park complete with a totem pole and beautiful park benches, with their backs carved in the shape of various sea mammals like whales, porpoises, and many others.
The most anticipated part of our tour finally occurred when we arrived at a boat ramp and the vehicle just drove right into the water with no hesitation and started to sail like a motorboat. Passing the two remaining canneries and the many float planes moored at their piers along the shore. We were fortunate to have two of these float planes taxi right by us on their take off. Getting that Duck’s Eye view from the water is certainly unique.
It was a lot of fun and one of the things we had looked forward to doing on this trip.
Until next time,
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