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  • The Anonymous Hungry Hippopotamus

The Last Frontier: Day 6, Ketchikan

Updated: Aug 27, 2023


Ketchikan is, as the sign reads, Alaska's first city and the salmon capital of the world. It is located on the island of Revillaregigedo, the 12th largest island in the U.S. The city of Ketchikan is only about five square miles, has a population of less than 10,000, but gets approximately 1 million visitors a year. This charming city was my last stop in the Last Frontier.

My first adventure in Ketchikan was crabbing (catching and eating crab). If the early bird catches the worm then, the early boat catches the crab. Boats went out at 5 a.m. to drop off crab pots to collect Dungeness crab for our lunchtime crab feed. I hopped aboard several hours later to see what we caught.

On our way out to the crab pots, we spotted a bald eagle perched high on a treetop. Do you see it?

If not, don't worry because you are about to get a closer look.

Despite learning the many facts about bald eagles that I shared in my last post, an intellectual understanding did not prepare me for the size and magnificence of this raptor up close. I was trying to take it all in when the eagle swooped by again, as if to bid us farewell.

We carried on toward the crab pots and reached them by mid morning. There weren't many crabs in this particular pot that we drew out of the water but, more than enough in the other pots that were a bit farther out.

The captain and crew taught us about the habits, food sources, mating rituals, predators, and anatomy of crabs, as well as laws about crabbing and so much more. This was the first time I held a live crab. I learned that a pinch from a Dungeness crab's claws can exert 104-137 pounds pressure, so I was careful to keep my skin away from the pinchers. This particular crab did not meet the size requirements for catching and consumption so, we released it back into the water.

With a full catch, we headed back to the lodge where the feast was prepared.

This Dungeness crab was so sweet and delicious. I realized what a difference it makes when your crab is caught just hours before you eat it.

If you can't tell from the plate of discarded shells, we enjoyed the meal thoroughly and left full and satisfied.

After lunch, I went on a walk to take in the views of George Inlet from the southwestern coastline of Revillagigedo Island. Like everywhere else in Alaska that I visited, the landscape was pristine.

From the inlet, I headed back to downtown Ketchikan. To celebrate my last night in Alaska, I decided to go to Chico's Mexican Restaurant for "the best pizza in town." Just kidding. I had to include this picture in the post because it made me giggle. To be fair, I did not eat at this establishment, so I can neither confirm nor deny that this Mexican restaurant has the best pizza in town. Should you visit, let me know.

For my actual last dinner in Alaska, I decided to go to the Teppanyaki restaurant on board the ship. There was nothing particularly special about this restaurant or the food. Like other teppanyaki restaurants I have visited, all the usual suspects, as well as the chef's hijinks, were on the menu (as you will see).

That said, it was a wonderful way to share a communal meal, laugh, sing with the talented chef and make new friends.

Miso Soup

Salad with Ginger Dressing

Fried Rice

Shrimp

Steak

Green Tea Cake with Coconut Gelato

That was my last meal in Alaska. I wrapped up the night with a long walk around the ship, taking in the midnight sun and reflecting on my time in this breathtaking state.

I plan to return to Alaska, as there are still many things I would like to see, like a snowfall, a bear and a moose, as well as things I would like to experience, such as a dog sled ride and a seaplane flight. I am already looking forward to my next visit to the Last Frontier.

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