Creek Street, a Walk on the Wild Side


Strolling along historic Creek Street is not much different than any modern-day boardwalk of shops and restaurants. It has obvious appeal to tourists who pour through here in the summer, the cruise hordes numbering nearly a million this year alone. It’s conveniently located only a few blocks from the cruise terminal.

Creek Street

You would never know that it used to be a bunch of buildings erected along Ketchikan Creek to appeal to a different clientele, a red light district in the first half of the twentieth century.

At one end of Creek Street are a fish ladder and rapids that salmon need to get past in order to spawn upstream, the inspiration for the humorous aside on Dolly’s House.

Salmon negotiate the rapids along Ketchikan Creek to spawn

Spawning salmon in Ketchikan Creek below Park Ave

I find it amusing that many preserved buildings were once brothels and that tourists titter at the innuendos. Creek Street is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Eagle Eyes


There are terms we use about which we don’t give much thought. On the face of it, their origin seems obvious enough, it’s just that we have no personal experience to give the expressions much tangible significance; they’re part of the common vernacular.

‘Eagle eyes’ is one of them. I was on a boat tour in George Inlet near Ketchikan. To demonstrate the power of bald eagle vision, the guide tossed a herring into the water. We were surrounded by nothing but trees onshore, part of the massive Tongass National Forest that covers most of southeast Alaska (Panhandle, as it’s commonly called). We waited. And waited. The guide thought it might be hunting elsewhere. Then, out of the forest it came, an eagle from easily a mile away. It circled for a bit, then came swooping down and plucked the fish out of the water. It was an incredible demonstration. Now I’ve seen eagle eyes with my own.