Alaska – Day 3 – 6/28/15
6:30am and I am off to explore Ketchikan. A huge advantage of taking the ferry is that you can get off wherever the ferry stops and then catch the next one, or the one after that. But there are very few daily ferries so close scrutiny of the schedule is required if you have any kind of deadline to get somewhere (like Denali for trail work.)
First stop was Eagle View Hostel to drop my backpack.
Then I walked to the downtown area. 3 huge cruise ships were docked so the streets were full of people and all the shops were open.
Deer Mountain Trail starts about a half mile out of town. It is 5.5 miles round trip to the summit and back plus another mile to see the shelter. Deer Mtn towers over the town at 3001 ft so it is a steep climb. Just what I needed after being on the ferry for 30 hours.
I saw quite a few people on the trail… locals and visitors. When I got to the top the 2 Israelis from the ferry were there. They were brewing up some Arabic coffee and gave me a cup. It was delicious…. strong with a hint of cardamon. So far on this trip coffee has been the beverage of friendship. I would have guessed it would be beer.
The trail continues along a ridge and drops down to some lakes before exiting on the highway 13 miles outside of Ketchikan. It would have been a perfect day for this 13.75 mile hike….. perfect weather, lots of time and no snow. I contemplated doing it. The hike up deer mountain kind of seemed like enough. Then the coffee at the top and the soaring bald eagles sealed the deal and I knew I wasn’t doing the longer hike.
The shelter was really nice and would have been a wonderful place to spend the night. Except for hauling all my stuff all the way up there.