Today we visited Ketchikan. It is the oldest city in Alaska. It is the farthest south and the fourth largest at 14,000. I tried in vain to get on a bear watching expedition to Neets Bay or Prince of Wales Island but they were full (despite being expensive). We were already scheduled to go on a free excursion that was booked as a “Rainforest Island Adventure.” I associated “free” with “lame” and almost blew it off. I am glad we didn’t.

The rainforest part was interesting (not exciting, but interesting). Ketchikan is the rainiest city in Alaska with over 100 inches per year. One of our guides was from Seattle and said that the rain here makes Seattle look like Phoenix by comparison. When a tree falls in the forest it becomes a nursing log. These young saplings are growing right on top of the decaying nursing log. We saw some already 8 inches in diameter growing this way.

We were on a pretty island formed by the intersection of the Pacific and North American plates. The tectonic activity was obvious when you look at the rock formations.

The surprise of the day was how many Eagles we saw from our Zodiac and how obliging they were to this photographer. I am just glad I survived our excursions without dumping a camera in the water. Enjoy.

This might be my best Bald Eagle picture to date. He certainly looks deserving as a symbol for our country.

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