Cruise the Inside Passage aboard the Statendam - (Ketchikan, AK - 7am-3pm)
    We woke up early this morning to find we were passing through another narrows, coming into Ketchikan.  We were scheduled to arrive at 7:00am but, since we didn't have any excursions booked, we took our time eating breakfast before we left the ship to explore.  
    Ketchikan is called "Alaska's First City" as it was the first place the boats bringing would-be prospectors to the Gold Rush would arrive. I expect that they were greeted with as many eager sellers of services that we were, just not the same kind.  The cruise line has buried us in paper promoting diamond merchants and jewelers selling gold watches.  We aren't in the gold and diamond market just now but were interested in finding a float plane to the Misty Fjords National Monument located near here.  Again, there were numerous choices but we found one with two empty seats leaving in 30 minutes and signed up.
    We chose Misty Fjords Air, owned by a Dave Doyan who was our pilot.  We were in a DeHavilland Otter, a 10-passenger plane with two additional seats for pilot and co-pilot. Each seat had a large curved window, which allowed not only great views but clear
Driving it Home
pictures without distortion or fog,  We each had headsets so we could hear Dave and could ask him questions.  It was a beautiful flight over clear lakes and tree-covered islands to reach the fjords   The first thing we saw when we passed over the
"border" of the park was a sheer granite cliff, 4000 feet tall.  It was higher than we were flying.  The Misty Fjords were formed when glaciers 10,000 years ago, carved out of the granite, and dotted the landscape with freshwater lakes that may be 400 feet deep but thousands of feet up in the mountains.  There were numerous waterfalls, one dropping hundreds of feet.
    About an hour into the flight, Dave brought us down on a lake in an area known as God's Pocket and we got to step out on the pontoons.  I was surprised at how stable the plane was, no rocking as we went down the stairs or stepped out on the pontoons.  But I have to say it was a little breathtaking to be standing there.   Another seaplane landed while we were there and we waved across when they climbed out.  
    We saw a grizzly bear and her cubs just before we flew in to land on the lake and later saw the remnants of the lava tube of an ancient volcano which held two nests of  bald eagles.  The eagles were sitting on eggs and Dave says that, when the babies hatch, you can watch them learning to fly.  He did a circle so everyone
Montana Majestic Mountain T Tour
On The Road Again
Yellowstone then Home
    It had started to rain and was quite chilly so we went back on board the ship.  I was already napping when we pulled out of Ketchikan a little later.
    Tomorrow we dock in Juneau for the day.  We are going on a whale quest where they guarantee that you will see a whale!  I've heard that you actually get close enough to see them, not just a dark spot in the water.  I'll let you know tomorrow.
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Runs great...
  ....Drive it home.
Runs great...
      ....Drive it home.
Day 6 - Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Getting to Anchorage
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Sorry Fellow Texans but it is true. The Bluebonnets are bigger
Mountianside cascades like this one we every direction that we
Nancy & Ben standing on the pontoon of the  airplane after land
The views or the mountains and lakes in the Misty Fjord Nationa
This 1,500 foot waterfall was the largest of several hundred wa
The US Forest Service has built and maintains numerous basic ca
We spotted this mama Grizzly Bear with her two  cubs on the sho
This photograph of our ship the Statendam was taken  as we retu
Another float plane lands on the lake we had landed on. We saw
got a look but didn't get too close for fear of disturbing them. (Meaning our pictures were not clear enough to share.)
    Dave circled the harbor when we returned to Ketchikan and we were able to get a photo of our ship, the Statendam.