Tlinget, Haida, and Tsimsian art, carving, symbols, myths and stories, with an Expert Local Guide
There is an ancient tradition of totem pole carving in Southeast Alaska. The tradition still lives and thrives. There are a number of poles in town. Saxman has a large collection of unique poles, arranged in a circle and walkway. There is also a reproduction of a clan house, and a carving shed, and a couple of ancient carved stones, which were here before the Tlingit came. We have master carvers, who reproduce and maintain old poles or work traditional form-line design into some unique and beautiful modern designs.
I would like to show these poles to you, explain how they are carved, and tell you some of the stories behind them. I am an amateur carver myself, and can show you my self-forged tools. I know and am familiar with the work of many of the best modern carvers. Some, I can recognize from the distinctive adzing, the cut-marks of their tools. I have been a story-teller all my life, and I will delight in telling you some of the stories that lie behind the figures in the wood.
• First, downtown Ketchikan. Some totem poles, historic Creek Street, salmon falls
• (optional) - Tongass Historical Museum - a small exquisite display of native art
• (optional) - Totem Heritage Center - some really old poles
• A drive through southern Ketchikan, passing the Coast Guard Base
• A couple of eagle's nests
• Saxman Native Village and Totem Park - I shall describe the poles and stories
• (optional) If time allowing, Herring Cove (occasionally bears here)
• (optional) If time allowing, Pretty Waterfall up George Inlet
On this tour we will visit both downtown and Saxman Totem Park. Within a 3 hour tour, we should have time for at least one or two of the optional destinations. We might adjust this itinerary for rain. Whatever we do, we shall commit to have fun.
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: I will meet you at the exit ramp of the ship. I will have a sign with your name, or I will be wearing distinctive clothes (I often wear a kilt).
End location: I will take you back to the ship, or, if you prefer, leave you at a good shopping or eating area near the ship.
Duration: 3 hours
Could be done in 2.5 hours, but it would be tight, and we would drop most of the optional stops.
2003 Dodge Durango R/T. Leather seats, Air-conditioned &individual climate control. Tinted windows. Seats 5 in comfort.
PLEASE NOTE: In the second row center ia a skinny wee jump-seat (with seat belt), so we could take 6 people if two are skinny, and willing to sit close together.
Room in back for bags and stuff, or even a wheelchair -- if the person in the wheelchair can get into and out of an SUV seat.
I can arrange for a larger vehicle, but that will significantly increase the price of the tour.
Estimated Local Cash Needed
5 USD - If you want to get a snack along the way.
I speak some French (Quebecois),
and Scottish Gaelic.
Driving tours max of 5 or 6 travelers (although I can charter larger vehicles for custom tours).
Walking tours max of 25 people, or even more - contact me for walking tours with more than 10.
A Recent Review of this tour
Read More Reviews For This Tour
Tour was well organized and went as planned. We had discussed several options via email in advance and choose at time of tour. Tour of totem bright park was highlight, especially restoration work. Note that several places have totem in their name and you need to be specific. Transportation worked well for our group of five.