CNHI News Service

Features

January 29, 2013

Ketchikan -- Alaska's southern most city

—  

 "Cedar Community House at Saxman Totem Village" and "The George Inlet Salmon Cannery." Photo credit Bill Rockwell.

 

There’s a running joke about the weather in Ketchikan, Alaska’s fifth largest city, that says anytime it goes three days without rain, the city is experiencing a drought.

My fellow passengers and myself onboard Holland America Line’s ms. Oosterdam got even more tongue-in-cheek humor about the city’s climate during our shipboard preview when our travel advisor quipped that Ketchikan has about three dry days a year and it’d already had two of them.

Hyperbole aside, average annual rainfall comes in at a whopping 152 inches, which falls on average 228 days a year, more than enough to qualify Ketchikan as a temperate rain forest town. The classification requires a minimum of 70 inches of precipitation annually. By comparison, Ketchikan set a personal record with a soul-drenching 202 inches in 1949.

Fearing the worse, we arrived in port not with raindrops falling on our heads but with the sun glimmering through a pale blue, nearly cloudless, sky. Raincoats be damned seemed to be the common consensus as the throng of passengers disembarked our ship, ready to explore this charming town of slightly more than 8,000 residents.

Located on Revillagigedo Island, the 11th largest in the U. S., Ketchikan was incorporated in 1900, but its roots go back centuries to the time when native tribes used the site as a summer fishing camp.

Scanning a helpful brochure the evening before our port of call, I read that the town’s name is derived from the Tlingit word Kitschk-Hin, which supposedly can be translated into English as "spread wings of a prostate eagle." I understand that there are other, less esoteric translations, but I never did find out why contemporary Tlingits who speak the mother tongue can’t settle the matter.

Text Only
Features
  • The Simpsons still going strong

    The groundbreaking animation first hit the air Dec. 17, 1989, but the family first appeared on television in "The Tracey Ullman Show" short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987.

    August 21, 2014

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Freshman.jpg 8 crucial tips for college freshmen

    With school starting back up around the country, no one has a bigger deer-in-the-headlights look than college freshmen.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • weightloss.jpg The scales of injustice: Weight loss differs between men, women

    You're not imagining it: There really are differences between the way men and women diet, lose weight and respond to exercise.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 3.09.32 PM.png VIDEO: Stars react to Robin Williams' death

    Prior to the premiere of “The Expendables 3” in Los Angeles, several movie stars shared their thoughts on the death of actor and comedian Robin Williams.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • In Japan, ramen aficionados worry their favorite dish is coming off the boil

    "The ramen boom has ended," said Ivan Orkin, a New Yorker who first traveled to Japan in the 1980s and now owns two noodle-soup restaurants in Tokyo. "A boom implies that there are new avenues and new growth to pursue, and that's not the case in Japan anymore."

    August 11, 2014

  • AdelleWaldman.jpg The joy of being a single male

    Here's a truism that also happens to be true: Single men are seen as happy-go-lucky bachelors having too much fun to settle down, while single women are often seen as sad and bereft creatures desperate to snag a man.

    August 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dartmouth.jpg Break the college cartel

    Ask liberals why college is getting so expensive, and they'll probably tell you it's a case of government neglect. Ask conservatives the same question, and they'll tell you the opposite.

    August 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 3.43.11 PM.png Your brain helps you judge a face before you even see it

    In a new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience, researchers report that the amygdala — a part of the brain associated with decision making, memory and emotion — plays a part in telling us who to trust almost instantly.

    August 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140805-AMX-PORK5.jpg 'Baconholics' undeterred by 30-year high pork prices

    With images of pigs and barbecued meats tattooed on his left calf, Brian Polak is doing what he can to cope with the highest price of bacon in three decades. The 41-year-old self-proclaimed "baconholic" now often cures his own at home to help reduce costs.

    August 5, 2014 1 Photo

News
Sports

Opinion