Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ketchikan FAQ

I haven't had a lot of time to sit down and write about Ketchikan itself so on this beautiful sunny day I thought I would take a couple minutes from the deck to write something.*

Where did Ketchikan get it's name?
It's believed to come from the Tlingit words "Kitschk-Hin" meaning spread wings of a prostrate eagle.
How can I get to Ketchikan?
Ketchikan is an island, the only way to get here is by boat or plane.
What is the Totem Pole symbolism?
Native tribes use totem poles to tell stories, celebrate events and pay tribute to family members or leaders.  Ketchikan has the largest collection of totems anywhere in the world, with more than 80 poles throughout the area.

What is the population of Ketchikan
Around 13,000 in the greater Ketchikan area.
What are the major industries?
Fishing and Tourism.
How large is Ketchikan relative to other Alaskan cities?
It's the sixth largest.  (Behind Anchorage, Fairbanks, Matanuska-Susitna, Kenai and Juneau)
Are groceries more expensive?
Yes, bananas are around one dollar a pound and milk is in the mid $4 range. These are our staples.  There are sales so we have started to shop at different stores for different items.  It's do-able.
What is the average annual temperature?
42 degress, with an average summer temperature of 55 and an average winter temperature of 31. 
What is the average rain fall per year and how often does it rain?
13 Feet is average rainfall with an average participation on 228 days.
What is the elevation in Ketchikan?
0 (Sea Level).
What is the name of the island Ketchikan sits on?
Revillagigedo is approximately 35 miles wide by 55 miles long
What is the time zone?
Alaska has it's own time zone-- one hour past pacific (three hours behind central time).
What is the average day light?
In the summer 17.5 hours, in the winter 7 hours of daylight.
How large is the Tongass National Forest?
Approximately 17 million acres including the Ketchikan area and reaching as far north as Yakutat Bay. 
What about this salmon fishing I've heard so much about?
There are five species o salmon found in Ketchikan. King, Coho, Humpie, Sockeye and Chum.  Salmon runs vary by species but generally June- September are a sure bet.  The largest salmon ever caught in Alaska was 126 lbs.
What other fishing is available?
Halibut, Rockfish, Red Snapper,  and a variety of Trout. The largest halibut caught in Alaska was 533 lbs. 
What other marine life is in Ketchikan?
Orcas, Gray Whales, Humpback Whales, Sea Lions, Seals, Porpoise, Octopus and Starfish (and others)
What's the number one reason to visit Ketchikan?
Free place to stay with fresh towels, babies to cuddle and sparkling conversation offered by your host**

* I picked up a bunch of tourism brochures so will be borrowing from the good people at the travel bureau for some of this!
**Cooking is a little spotty, but there are lovely restaurants in the area. 

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