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CFV2003 - Day 3 (Sunday 6/22)

The short version: Saw lumberjacks, totem poles, eagles, baby fish. Went to casino.


Overnight, we switched timezones as well as moving from Canada to Alaska. Alaska time is four hours from east coast time, so we gained another hour of sleep.

The boat docked in Ketchikan early in the morning. Ketchikan is a sleepy little town, and like most of Southeast (the Alaskan panhandle), it mainly caters to the cruise ships at this point. There are several native villages in the area, and this is one of the areas where they still carve totem poles.

Jeff and I and his parents started off the day with the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show. These are the logrolling, pole-climbing axe throwing, and all the rest of the events they will sometimes show on ESPN and the Outdoor Network and the like. In fact, some of the guys we saw are among the top world competitors, apparently. They divided the audience into half, to root for the two teams. We were on the "Canadian" side - in quotes because they were really all Americans. Well, Alaskans, anyway - it’s still a little different from other Americans. Jeff was really into it, screaming for our side and booing the others. He was hoarse for three days afterwards. At the end of the show, they called for volunteers from the audience. Someone volunteered on the American side, but the Canadian side was quiet. So the announcer came over and pointed at Jeff. "Okay, you've been talking trash all morning, you come up here!" Now, I'd been poking Jeff as soon as she asked for volunteers, because I knew he'd get picked. Somehow he failed to realize this. They had them go around and throw axes. Jeff's done this at Ren fairs in the past. He always hits the target, but with the wrong side of the axe. George, the other guy, actually managed to land one blade first and took the points. George won a totebag and Jeff won a frisbee, so we think Jeff really got the better of the deal.

After the show, the four of us met up with Andrew and Sara to see the rest of the town. We took a little tramway up a big hill to get the view, and then walked down the other side. It was a very steep hill, and I overbalance easily, so I was leaning backwards most of the way down. We walked up to the Totem Museum. They had five standing poles on display, and about a dozen in horizontal glass cases in another room. It was pretty nifty.

Across the street was a salmon hatchery and eagle refuge. Their pair of eagles were both injured. While we saw oodles of eagles on the trip, these were the only ones we saw up close. The female was kind enough to open up her working wing to display the wingspan for us. I wasn't too impressed by the salmon hatchery, since I've seen them before, but Jeff had really wanted to go to one and this was more convenient than the one we had been planning to go to in Juneau.

Following that, we headed back to the ship for a nap. No, really, we spent a lot of time doing nothing but sleeping and eating. Dinner was the now-usual rearranging to avoid the spill chair.

After dinner, Jeff and I decided we wanted to try the casino. Neither of us had ever gone gambling before, and it seemed like a good place and time to try it. We changed a twenty into quarters and sat at the slot machines for a little bit. Within the first ten minutes, I won about $75. Between that and a couple $10 wins Jeff had, we had a full bucket of quarters for quite some time. After a while we got bored with the slots. Jeff saw a machine he didn't understand, so I explained it to him, because I've seen them in arcades before. It's the kind where you drop in a quarter, it jiggles onto a shelf that's moving back and forth. The idea is to push quarters off the edge of that shelf onto the bottom shelf, where they push more quarters off the edge and into the collecting bin below. In the arcades it dumps tokens instead of quarters. There are also usually things sitting on top of the quarters which get pushed off too, if you're lucky. In the arcades it's usually packs of tickets; here it was some chips worth money and some good for prizes. Well, while I was demonstrating, one of the casino employees walked past and told us about women who had played it on the previous cruise and won two watches. We tried the strategy he said they were using, and I won a watch very quickly after that. Jeff decided to keep trying for one, but he had further to go. I helped him for a little, and then wandered back to the slots, with much more typical luck. We ran out of the money in the buckets, and then out of the rest of what we had planned to spend. He didn't get the token for his watch, but it was very close, hanging just over the edge. It was very frustrating, but we both agreed to walk away for 24 hours and think about it again then. He was grumpy when I wanted to look at my new toy back in the room, though!

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turtle_morn
Jul. 3rd, 2003 02:42 pm (UTC)
Wow - you're one of those people who actually win things at casinos!

I've been once, in Montreal. I turned $20 into quarters and fed them one at a time into the mouths of several slot machines. Nothing came out of any of them. Then I decided I was all done with that bad game and proceeded to think of all the better things I could have done with $20.
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