July 1-5, 2016
The next couple weeks are going to be slightly different. We’re taking the Alaskan Marine Highway to explore THE INSIDE PASSAGE! The most beautiful part of Alaska. And you cannot bike to most places. You either fly or take a boat into town. Our ferry ticket is out of Bellingham, Washington so we had to go back through the Canadian border. The night before we left we stayed with an awesome family in Fairhaven, Aileen and Paul. They were so great and we spent most of the night by the fire in their backyard. Our ferry wasn’t until 6pm the next day, but there are more logistics than you think. Since we were camping on the ferry we had to be there early to make sure we get a good tent spot. If the tent spots fill up then you’re forced to sleep on the floor in the Solarium. Not the worst, but we really wanted the experience of camping on the ferry.
So we got to the terminal hours ahead of time and got a decent tent spot. We were surrounded by tents and would have rather been on the outside, but it turns out we were in the best spot if it rained…and it did. Luckily all of the bad weather happened while we were on the boat. Let me just say camping on the ferry was amazing! I would never want to be cooped up in the tiny box of a cabin. Going to sleep we had the fresh air and the sound of the water. We were on the first ferry for 2 nights. During the day there were movies, a dining room, and places to relax and watch the islands pass by. We even saw humpback whales!
On the ferry we met a couple (Ed and Dennise) that travelled from Daytona Beach, Florida on a motorcycle. Just like us, they were also getting off in Ketchikan for a few days. It was raining when we got off the ferry. I expected nothing less! The locals said it was good weather. If its not raining sideways then its good weather. In that case I was happy it was misty/slightly raining! We biked 5 miles to the campsite at Ward Lake. Ed and Dennise were there and invited us to stay at their campsite. Whoo free camping! They even shared their dinner with us: local salmon!
The next day was the Fourth of July! There was a big parade in town. Along with 4 cruise ships. This is normal in the summer time. Ketchikan lives off tourism from the cruise ships in the summer. At times population doubles when the cruise ships are in town. From 8,200 to 18,000 people! Anyways, the fourth was a lot of fun. The parade was a lot bigger than I expected and the streets were lined with people.
July 5th was our last day in Ketchikan and we wanted to make the most out of it! Really we just wanted to see a bear. So first thing in the morning we got packed up and biked across the island about 12 miles to Herring Bay. Supposedly at low tide there are a lot of bears out catching salmon. Low tide was at 7am. Needless to say we got there an hour or two later. We didn’t see any bears, but we saw plenty of eagles, salmon, and seals! I was happy with what we did in the small amount of time we had in Ketchikan and ready to get back on the ferry to head to Haines!