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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Search for WiFi Ends!

I've had so much time to explore and to meet people. I've got so many pictures to share. I really don't have much to write about since I have been pretty regularly, so now I'll just go into some pictures and describing them. Most of this stuff happens on Saturday, the day when I used to walk around looking for either a room to rent, a couch to crash on, or a car to buy. Part of my ritual, coincidentally, has been to run into the people that gave me a ride to the hostel from the airport my very first night in town. I snagged this picture of some of my new friends before we went into the picture framing shop for an impromptu accoustic jam session. I'll always remember going for that first cruise around Ketchikan listening to a song from Eddie Vedder's soundtrack to "Into The Wild." It was awesome. Anyway, digressing, they played some classic hits. My mouth stayed shut as my mind asked if they knew any Cat Stevens songs. Either way, it was a great moment, and I soaked it up. It reinforced my desire to learn to play the accoustic guitar. Yes, Bob, I know... bass players are cooler, but unfortunately, I don't know any accoustic bass soloists out there to emulate, so guitar will have to do.

Later that day, I found a local paper and happened upon a listing for a van. I thought it could be the time, so I called him up and walked out to this guy's place, out by the local Walmart. I checked out the van, went and cashed my first paycheck, and took his 1987 Ford E-350 off his hands. Watch out! Two birds with one stone! Transportation AND a place to live! AND... it's now, legitimately, the BattleWagon Chronicles once again! This is the BW:III! She's not much to look at, but she's HUGE inside! While I'm excited about my new-found freedom, I must extend my deepest gratitude to Steve, the owner of SignPro of Ketchikan, who was so incredibly kind as to let me stay in his home for two weeks. I have to thank Sydney, too, for giving up her room for a while. You guys didn't have to do that, and I really appreciate you giving me the chance to get some footing up here. Freedom found, I went crazy Saturday night. I drove to the southern end of the road, something around 10 miles from town. On the way out, I snagged a picture of the sunset, thinking that I didn't have a lot of time to grab a good one. Little did I know that the sunsets last forever up here. On the way back into town, I grabbed some more pictures. I stopped next to some giant trees. My guess was cedar, and it was reinforced by some info I found later on that night. (You'll have to read on.) I parked the van and took two good pictures. I'm posting them both so you can get an idea of for how tall these trese are and how steep the hills are. It's a absolutely a rainforest up here!

I drove on and saw this great cascading waterfall, thundering out of the hills and shrouded by bushes about a hundred feet above me. It was spectacular. Just spectacular.

I drove back to town, through town, and headed north. I was a passenger when I first went past a place that looked intriguing, and that was my destination. I wasn't expecting it to be what it was, and I was awed by this pleasant suprise! I pulled up to this Alaska State Historical Park called "Totem Bight". It was hidden in a thick patch of green, green trees, and I thought it looked amazing without actually seeing it. After I parked, I noticed a staircase leading down to the ocean, which was halfway out because of the tide. I walked on the beach, and I went way out on this point that, at high tide, would have been underwater. When I got out to the end, I looked up, and I saw one of the most glorious sunsets I've ever seen. I stepped back, set the camera with a timer on a tall rock, and went ahead with the "hero shot". What came out blew my mind. If I ever want a picture to be the catylist for my time in Alaska, so far, this has to be it. I mean.... wow.
After this... I called it a night.
More pictures and more stories to come later. Now that I've found my WiFi, I can do this more regularly. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!

Big Ships in a Small Town

Since last Thursday, there have been cruise ships in and out here in Ketchikan. Carnival, Celebrity, and Norweigan cruise lines have had ships here, the biggest and most flashy so far being the "Carnival Millenium".  (I know ship names are supposed to be in italics, but I'm using quotes since this is from my phone.) The ships get here, carrying between 1,000 and 4,500 passengers, a large chunk of whom get out and stretch their legs on the touristy city streets. I haven't weathered a winter here yet, but I've definitely discovered the tourist season is this town's bread and butter. It seems like every business in town geared up for it, which makes me wonder how badly they will all wind down once the last ship leaves in the fall.

Either way, I hope to take advantage of the season and get to know some people from overseas. Met a bunch of older Brits today. It's funny, but the "humor" that annoys we who install signs seems to be international. People with British accents saying "it's crooked," "it's spelled wrong"... apparently it doesn't get old. I like the people who say that I make what I do look easy. I ask them what they do, and say I wouldn't have the slightest idea how to do that. It's a great ice breaker. People are good at what they do. F