Alaska 2012 - Day 4 Ketchikan

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2000
Alaska 2012 - Day 4 Ketchikan
7
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 1:23pm

Ketchikan! Yay!

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So last year we were suppose to do a Misty Fjords floatplane tour, which was cancelled. This led to a broken-hearted Makayla, and us back to Alaska this year. When we got to Ketchikan it was raining. I mean pouring rain. Now Ketchikan is suppose to have the most rain of anywhere in the USA, but last year we were blessed with a rain free day. We assumed we could not luck out like that twice. So we were prepared with rain coats.

We had some time to kill before we met our excursion group - so we went shopping. I really like the shops here. Granted it's just cheap souvinior stuff - but. . .LOL . .that is so us. We don't usually buy, but do enjoy looking at the variety.

We met a moose in one of the stores. . . .seems he likes Maddie more than Makayla. Photobucket Photobucket

After a little browsing, we head over to meet our group, They load all the floatplane people up on a bus and we are off. . .at one point the driver pulled over and was on the radio, seems they sent a scout plane out to check visibility due to the rain. I tapped John (as he was sitting with Makayla) to prepare him in case they cancel. . last year she cried her eyes out.

Anyhow, we then continued. It really was hard to see it was raining so hard. Once there we waited. . and waited. Finally they got the okay to go up! Yup. . up!

Most of the floatplane portion I have on video. . .but here is Makayla all smiles that we are really taking off. Photobucket

And one from the window of the plane as we flew over. . . Photobucket

We flew to the Tonga Forest and landed. We were then met by the bear guide - Puck. We were given a quick run down on what to do if we should see a black or grizzly bear (different procedures depending on type) on the trail during our hike. And then off we went.

It was still drizzling, but we were still wet from the earlier downpour, that I don't think it bothered anyone. It was a lovely hike, I think I have video of it. . .as I didn't want to take my good camera out of the case yet due to the rain.

 We finally arrived at the salmon hatchery. It looked interesting, but was certainly not smelling like roses over here. :smileyvery-happy: While Puck was explaining the process, he got a call on his radio that "Priscilla" was at the river. He then explained to us that Priscilla was a mother bear w/twin cubs. So he escorted us to an area by the river where we could see them.

Priscilla and her twins Photobucket Photobucket

Eventually a larger male bear came out. Photobucket When he did, Priscilla pushed her cubs out of the river - and then you see her pushing them to climb up a tree. The guide said she did that to keep them safe while she continued to fish.   It was funny because these bear cubs were a good 30 feet in the air, and the limbs kept swinging as they were swatting at each other up there.   John and I laughed - typicaly twins.  :smileyhappy:    My big lens on the camera couldn't get them, so I video taped their interaction.

 Male bear 

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Bald Eagle Photobucket

Young bald eagles - seems their head turns white when they become adults Photobucket

A raven Photobucket

But we are really here to see bears Photobucket

Okay, so I'm snapping pics of bears - oblivious.   Notice anything interesting about this bear?

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Well, basically he is crossing the river. John comes by me, grabs the girls and moves them behind him. . .I put down the camera and realize I'm taking pics of a black bear as it is crossing the river. . .to us.

Well, the guide steps over in front of all of us. . but the bear just slowly moves over to the side of the viewing area, plops down and goes to sleep. The guide tells us it is time to go now. So we head back down the trail, to the float plane and are off.

Back in town I wanted a Christmas tree ornament. John & Maddie decide they are ready to get back on the ship and dry off. So we split up, Makayla going with me. We head over to the Christmas Store. :smileyhappy: I try to get ornaments from every trip that mean something. Last year I got a whale ornament in Juneau. . so this year I found one with a floatplane on it. :smileyhappy:

While looking around the Christmas store. . who do we meet? Photobucket

Makayla asked him what he was doing in Alaska - he told her he came down to warm up. :smileyhappy:

Makayla and I then head back to the ship. John had Maddie in the tub when we got back to our room, so Makayla got in the shower. . .hair washed, body warm - we then went down to lunch at Tsars. After lunch, we took the girls to the kids club - then John and I went back to the room to shower, clean up, etc.

The girls called then saying they were tired, so I got them from the club - and the 3 of them laid down. We all wanted to see the show at 7:15, so I let them sleep until 6:30 pm and then we headed to the Stardust Theater.

Tonight's show was a hypnotist. She was pretty funny.   One boy a few rows ahead of us was out too - and we watched as he did all the things she said on stage to do. . ..

After the show we went down to Azul. We again had Jenny as a server. The girls really liked her.

After dinner we went back to the room & found Cris had left the girls some cookies.

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The girls were out quickly. It was a good day. Photobucket

 

 

Juneau is up tomorrow. . .what can we find to do there?

 

  

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2005
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 2:20pm

WOW!! What an exciting day. I think I would freak if I had that big black bear headed towards me and my kids. It does sound like a really great day though. :smileyhappy:

 photo Kim-1.jpg

 


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2000
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 2:54pm
John is still giving me grief about not clicking that the bear was coming toward me as I was taking his picture. So, I never really had a chance to get scared. Heck, Maddie was standing there with me watching excited it was getting closer. Makayla was the only one that backed away. . . . Smart girls aren't we? LOL

 

  

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2005
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 2:57pm

I bet those bears have seen enough tourists that they think of them as the trees-just always there. LOL

 photo Kim-1.jpg

 


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2000
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 3:15pm

They were black bears.   From what the guide said a black bear is not typically agreesive, except a mom with cubs if she feels her cubs are in danger.    Priscilla didn't tree her cubs when we were there, she didn't do it until the males came - there were eventually 3 adults (Priscilla and two males) there.  

But what he said is if a black bear comes toward you, you make loud noises and swing something around - and they will walk away.  All they want is the fish.

Ooooh, something I didn't think to share - is we were watching the bear fish.  Some they would eat, and then toss part of the fish away.  Other fish they caught and tossed right away.  They only wanted female salmon.  Seems what they want is the fatty eggs the female has. 

Also the bears use their claws to mark trees.  They mark the tree as high as they can reach while they are standing. This lets other bears know if "someone" bigger is in the area, as the larger bears are the alphas.

 

 

  

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2005
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 4:20pm

That's pretty cool. I would have loved to see them. The only time I have seen a bear in the wild was when we lived in NC and we were driving down this long road with only woods on both sides and there was a bear standing in the road. It was a black bear too. We stopped and waited for it to cross the street and ended up stopping right next to it. We stared at it and it at us and then it wandered off into the woods.

 photo Kim-1.jpg

 


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-10-2006
Thu, 08-09-2012 - 9:34pm

Deb I LOVE your report!  Your room is awsome and the naked lady, made me laugh, crazy to put it in a family suite.  Oh and your ring is beautiful, I love the green oh so pretty and SCORE on getting to see the bears and twin cubs!  Your day looks absolutely wonderful, it oh so makes me want to take an Alaskan cruise.  One of my friends keeps asking if Mario and I wanna go on one with her and her hubby, but convincing Mario to get on the boat is gona be tough, maybe I need to show him your trip reports cause the pics are beautiful.