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Ten Things of Thankful: Ketchikan, Not Caughtacovid


The colorful old buildings above the creek in Ketchikan, Alaska

Before July, I had never been to Alaska. Earlier this summer, John and I booked a cruise to go to Alaska in August. After we booked that cruise, we received an email from a different cruise line offering unbelievably low rates for a last-minute cruise to Alaska. As responsibly as two kids in a candy store, we decided to take as many cruises as we could, so we booked that July cruise, too, and took our son and his girlfriend along. Walking around Ketchikan, Alaska in July in the pouring rain really wiped me out--or so I thought, until I tested positive for covid the next day. Last week, John and I returned from the second, though first booked, Alaska cruise, and I can tell you that Ketchikan is much more enjoyable than the town formerly known to us as Caughtacovid. 

I'm thankful:

1. We both remained healthy and well on this cruise. 

John and I smiling in front of a waterfall in Tracy Arm Inlet

2. We live on a beautiful planet. 

The stunningly blue South Sawyer Glacier

3. We share this beautiful planet with a variety of wildlife. (We saw brown bears--which is the Alaskan way of saying grizzly bears! We saw a great white shark! We saw bald eagles, humpback whales, harbor seals, sea otters, deer, crab, octopus, and who knows what else I'm forgetting at the moment.)

A bald eagle in flight

4. That history can come to life as we learn about interesting individuals. Skagway does a great job of telling the story of Soapy Smith, for example.

An animatronic Soapy Smith stands at a bar in Jeff Smith's Parlor Museum in Skagway

5. That everyone is interesting and has a story to tell. I was as fascinated with the life of Martin Itjen, the man who helped preserve the history of Skagway, as I was with Soapy Smith. 

Martin Itjen's grave. He was buried under the "World's Largest Gold Nugget" which he had installed years prior to his death.

6. Number 5 again, but this time with the crew of the Aleutian Ballard. I hadn't watched Deadliest Catch before I booked the Bering Strait Fisherman's Crab Tour, but that episode where they got caught by a rogue wave was not even the most amazing story I heard on board. 

John and I with a couple of guys from the crew onboard the Aleutian Ballard

7. And number 5 one more time. Before we departed on the cruise, we visited with my parents. My dad was reading "The Kimes Gang," by Michael Koch, and had fun sharing stories with us from that book. The leader of that notorious gang, Matt Kimes, was so charming that he was allowed a furlough from prison to go quail hunting! He might have been charming, but he also realized an opportunity when it presented itself, and unsurprisingly, did not return to prison after his recess.  

8. That climate varies from one location to another. My skin rehydrated in Alaska. I suggested to John that I just need to go visit a humid place on a regular basis. :-)

The "Liquid Sunshine" gauge in Ketchikan. From my personal experience, it always rains in Ketchikan.

9. That we received an incredible surprise on the cruise. Upon return to our stateroom one night, we found a card informing us that we had received a free future cruise. Skeptical but curious, we attended the informational meeting. (Cruises don't have timeshares, right?) We learned that in celebration of Holland America's 150th birthday, 150 guests were selected to receive a free cruise, up to 14 days, and we were given a long list of cruises to choose from. So, we will be cruising with Holland America again next year. We still can't believe we were so lucky. 

10. For John, who I can say with confidence would go to the ends of the earth with me. 

I could add so many more, but I'll let you have a turn. What are you thankful for? Leave a comment, and feel free to link up your own post on the Ten Things of Thankful blog hosted by Dyanne and her co-hosts!


  1. Used to watch Deadliest Catch* so am so jealous of your fishing boat (field trip). the Trip(s) sound most enjoyable. Of places where boats go, Alaska sounds like just about perfect, i.e. mountains and oceans right next to each other.
    Have an excellent week.
    * for the first couple of seasons, then the producers decided the audience was tired of waves and storms and boats and such and introduced reality drama to the series. lol

  2. How fun, a cruise to Alaska! It's on my maybe someday list. It's going to be nice to see where you choose on your free cruise.

  3. Terrific list! Two cruises, well, THREE cruises! My parents did the Alaskan cruise twice and my dad keeps saying he'd like to go again. He wants to eat fresh salmon until he grows gills. My family has watched Dangerous Catch for years - how fun that you got to visit one of the crab boats! Oh, and any time you want a dose of humidity, come see me!

    1. I'm vegetarian most of the time, but allowed myself seafood on the cruise, and I think I was close to growing gills, too. Alaska really is beautiful.
      I'd love to come visit you again sometime--humidity or no humidity! :-) (And, of course, you're always welcome to come here!)


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