A Look Back at Ketchikan Creek

(Made it back from the weekend art festival and trying to unpack everything, dodging raindrops along the way (we’re forecast to get up to 2″-3″ of rain over the day!), so I’m featuring a post I made in fall 2011, while I try to get my things into the house. Enjoy and I’ll be back with a new post tomorrow!)

Day 4 of our 4-day Ketchikan visit … and finally the liquid sunshine turned into a yellow mass in the sky, often darting behind a few, puffy clouds, but nevertheless, a nice day. Yes, we did get a couple of short showers, but nothing unexpected!

What do we do today? Well, we decided to take the free shuttle bus back up the hill to the Deer Mountain Tribal Hatchery & Eagle Center, and then walk Ketchikan Creek back into the downtown area. We were hoping to see some wildlife along the way, but gorgeous scenics would work nicely, too! Ended up with little wildlife … except plenty of salmon in Ketchikan Creek. Remember how I mentioned in an earlier post that the Inside Passage had been getting record amounts of rain this year? As a consequence, Ketchikan Creek was flowing like a thundering river … and you could hear it’s roar from some distance!

As we got closer to the main business district of Ketchikan (not too far from Creek Street, for those who have ventured here by cruise ship), we found a wonderful waterfall that posed quite an obstacle to the salmon, trying to work their way upstream to spawn. Unfortunately, because of the steep terrain and a few chainlink fences, it was impossible to get low, to find a good vantage point. So, I photographed the following images from an overhead bridge. To set the perspective, water is roaring away from me (from the bottom of the images to the top of them). The salmon are working up the creek, towards me (from the top of the image to the bottom). If you look closely, you can see where the waterfall is (difference in water heights) but it just doesn’t give the real impact. I would estimate the falls is at least 6-8 feet high … doesn’t sound like much, but tell that to a 18-24 inch salmon! Anyway, here are a couple of images of salmon trying to make it over the falls:

Salmon jumping the waterfalls

Salmon jumping the waterfalls

Not really sure if any of these fish made it. Once they hit the fast-flowing, white water, you cold not see them!

A short time later, we arrived at Creek Street, the famous “old Ketchikan” area (now a tourist trap). Walking down the street past the shops, we reached the bay and one of Ketchikan’s harbors. Here is an image taken from there:

Salmon Jumping in Ketchikan (Alaska) Harbor

Was this guy practicing for the upcoming falls? Note his upside down style of jumping … I guess I have to give him bonus points for style! Next up, catching the Alaska Marine Highway ferry for a 10-hour (including a short stop at Wrangell, Alaska) to get to Petersburg, where the photo workshop starts.




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