Inside view: Ketchikan

Ketchikan, Alaska is a town unlike most in the United States. An island situated in Southeast Alaska makes Ketchikan a secluded town in comparison to a typical town.

Sprawling mountains surround and rain forests surround the island making it an exciting 360 degree view. I ventured to the “last frontier” for spring break and was able to view traditional totem poles, whale watch and beautiful sunsets.

Alaskan sunset
Alaskan sunset

The peacefulness and seclusion of the island was like nothing I have experienced before. We were there on the off season so there were only a handful of people milling around, but I could imagine what the bustling streets would be like during tourist season.

Visiting Southeast Alaska during the off season provides a whole different perspective. Although I have never visited during the tourist season, but I have been told it is a very different experience. The small shops and family owned businesses feed into the small-town feel.

Seeing Ketchikan and experiencing a place far different than the suburb I grew up in gave me a new perspective on the ways other people live. It also gave me the opportunity to develop an appreciation for nature and the natural resources that are available in such a beautiful climate.

While I was able to get an outsiders view of Southeast Alaska, the perspective of someone who is from there is far more valuable.

Sara Gomez grew up in Ketchikan before moving to McMinnville to go to Linfield College. Her love of Alaska led her to lead a group of Linfield students to do sustainability work in the state. The Alternative Spring Break trip was such a success that she will be leading another trip this coming spring.

Sara finds Ketchikan to be like no other place she has ever been.

Sara says that there is a major difference between the off-season and the tourist season.

By getting the unique opportunity to live in Alaska, Sara has insight as to what is most important to those who live there— community.


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