Another EARLY day with another 6am race briefing! But a couple of coming into Ketchikan shots…
In Ketchikan, we were going to be bussed out to Ward Lake in the Tongass National Forest for either a 5K or a 10K run. We were warned about the possibility of black bears – yay! And John explained how this race would work. This was the “poker race” where Mila would have two sets of cards – one for the 5K and one for the 10K. Each set would have ONE Ace of Spades in it, and whoever got the Ace from each race would be the winner. We got to hear a little story about communication differences between men and women from the first year they had a poker race. John explained how it would work (in that case it was a race with one distance, so there was a “male” stack and a “female” stack), pulled out the right number of cards for each pile and mixed one Ace into each pile. Well, the first male comes across the line and gets his card – an Ace. John was a bit puzzled, but figured that well, with a random draw it could happen. Then the first female crossed and SHE got the Ace. Well, that was too much of a coincidence, so John asked Mila what happened. He had mixed the cards up well he thought. Mila said yes, he had and it was a challenge to find the Aces before the finishers got there. “You said the winners get the Aces.” Ah communication. HAHAHAHA!!! After getting assurance that the Aces would remain mixed in, we headed off the ship and onto our buses.
Ward Lake was really pretty.
Foggy, but pretty. We got our instructions and headed off. All went well until I got to one place where the 5K trail made a Y, but there was no marking as to which way to go. A fisherman was coming up the trail, and I asked him if he’d seen any other runners (in spite of the request to run in pairs, it was tough because that would have meant someone running faster than comfortable or slower than comfortable, so some of us were more in shouting distance – sorry John!), and he said one had gone down the left segment, so I went that way. Correct. Then another branch where it was trail or a wooden walkway/ramp. I guessed trail…but it ended literally going into the lake. Turn around and go back to the wooden walkway, which was correct. I came into the clearing near the shelter, thinking I was going the right way – I knew we had to to roughly a lap and a half of the lake – but saw people coming out of the woods the OTHER way. I stutter stepped and yelled to Jenny and Leigh (I think that was our host’s name) “Am I going the right way?” and they yelled I was and I was doing great.
I’ll just put some pictures of/from the trail in here…
I think this is around the point in the trail where I thought I heard a snort/grunt. I stopped and looked all around, keeping my eyes peeled for black fur. I didn’t see anything, but I started moving slowly singing “Let it Go” for quite a few yards, just making noise to let anything that might be there I was also there. Never did see anything. Thankfully.
(obviously the sun had come out at this point)
I remembered the direction to go at the unmarked splits and headed towards the shelter. In spite of it being trail and rock going to the finish, I can proudly say I think I had one of my best finishes ever. I hit my run interval at the right time, let my strides practice kick in, and kicked. And kicked. I was FLYING when I crossed the line – I mean, flying even faster than my usual flying. Annie, one of my cruise mates, and the first 5K finisher, said I looked amazing coming in. 🙂
No Ace did I get, but I got a beautiful, and VERY limited edition medal!
They had beer and food for us – a salmon bake, though I opted for fresh bread and corn on the cob – which was awesome!!
They also had their running club shirts and some other shirts for sale – our “Expo”! Haha!!
There were going to be two buses back so people who wanted extra shopping time or who had an excursion could get back to town. I had an order to get some fudge covered mint oreos from KetchiKandies, so I headed back on the first bus. Megan headed back with me and we hung out together for a little while, then split up to wander on our own.
Pictures from Ketchikan…
Having successfully gotten the requested treats, I headed back onto the ship. The roof was open over the Lido pool and there was a salmon bake. I thought I’d heard someone say there was chicken as well, but I never managed to find it, so I defaulted to the Dive-In and it was still good. I did have some Alaskan White of course! Gotta take advantage of that since it’s not distributed ANYWHERE on the East Coast. The band was playing music, so Cherri, Donna and I were having a blast listening to them, dancing along (we taught some older ladies at the table next to us who were very amused by our antics the Sprinkler. HAHA!), and basically not believing it was that warm and beautiful in Alaska.
I watched a couple of flightseeing planes come in (I need to budget for a flightseeing trip next time!!)
The afternoon was ours to do with as we wanted. That night was the final “formal” night since many people across the ship would be missing dinner the last night as people would be getting off in Victoria.
Since lobster is something I’ve wanted to try but given the expense haven’t, I opted for surf and turf. That way if I didn’t like it, I wasn’t out any money.
Once everyone was served, our waiter removed the meat from the tails for us. It was good. I’d eat it again on a cruise. 🙂 I couldn’t decide on desserts, so I got the creme brulee and the grand marnier souffle. The brulee was better, but only by a little. Neither was to die for. Oh well.
granted, it didn’t help that I was pretty much ready to go by the time they brought the sauce around for the souffle.
It was towel monkey night.
Finished off the night hanging in the Crows Nest for a little, then heading to bed.
Another amazing Alaskan day!