Ketchikan for 6 hrs, so I had one more chance to run on AK land. The windy, cloudy, rain welcomed us. My photographer friend is staying here for a few days but toured me around after conducting some business. At first I was solo and had a few swigs of beer in the park w/ a resident who is from Eugene, OR. He so did not want me to leave, but I had some more adventuring to be had.
I learned that the cruise ships own the fancy jewelry stores in town that they recommend to passengers, but don’t say they own them. It’s driven local businesses out. Some small islands have sold out as the locals say like Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, while few held out – Haines. Another reason cruises are not ecotourism, the money earned/exchanged from tourists are hardly kept in the local areas.
This was the least place I liked in AK. Not due to weather as I have seen more rain/clouds than sun this whole summer. It is a blue-collar town, which is kinda neat and I don’t mind houses falling apart. But it’s not as walkable as Juneau or Sitka and had a gloomy doomy feeling in the air. Just giving my opinion here for future reference.
On the ferry the next day, I chatted with Grey Eagle, the watchman, meaning ferry security. He lives in Ketchikan and was explaining to me his job. I learned there’s a first aid room on board, so I mentioned the chest pain I have had for the past 2 days, just as an fyi. He advised me to talk to the crew. All checked out w/ blood pressure, oxygen level is great but pulse is a little high. They think I pulled/strained a muscle since the pain doubles when I turn my head, try to get up from laying down, etc. They gave me a complimentary room to be on the safe side to avoid med-evac!
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