Prince Rupert to Ketchikan
Today we were headed back to the USA. Check-out time at Prince Rupert RV Park was 11:00 but our ferry check-in (about 2 miles down the road) wasn’t until 1:00. We went into town for some drinking water (the water at the camp was not tasty and we had declined to pay $2.89 a gallon at the Safeway yesterday) and a sandwich lunch.
At check-in we were measured (we had paid for under 23 feet). After walking in to pick up our tickets, we were directed to drive through to US Customs. Our only problem here was that we had citrus fruit with us – a lovely navel orange for our lunch. We had to surrender that to the customs officer. Not sure why an orange that was grown in the US and shipped to Canada can’t reenter the USA, but so be it.
Now there was much waiting and watching. A tractor-container went on board, and then the tractor left without the container. A 24-foot U-Haul, 39-foot bus RV, another 32-footer, and various truck-trailer combinations which probably measured 40-50 feet were loaded. Finally we were directed on. We entered from the back of the ferry, but were directed down a lane to the front since we were going to leave the ferry at the first stop, Ketchikan, and the exit is off the side of the boat near the front.
The ferry was spacious and clean with a bar area and cafeteria. David had a dinner of cod, baked acorn squash, and garlic-mashed potatoes; I chose to eat nothing as I found the ride a little bumpy. Our friends who were going all the way to Skagway, 38-hours, showed us their “cabin” — bunk beds and a nice bathroom. (We were surprised by the amount of room.) Those who had opted to camp on the ferry were up on the upper deck where they had spread out sleeping bags on reclining lawn chairs in a heated, but partially open area. No one had pitched a tent, but it is permissible. Most of our 6-hour trip was spent sitting in a comfortable upper room with large viewing windows since it was really rather cold on the open deck. It was a very grey and rainy day so there wasn’t much to see, but we did see an eagle and a rainbow made an appearance at one point.
We were surprised as we pulled into Ketchikan to see that there are two tall “high rise” buildings on the water. Granted they are just 7 stories or so, but we had not expected that. After waiting and exiting the ship, we headed out to Signal Creek Campground, a NFS campground in the Ward Lake Recreational Area. Lovely. A rain forest with well-spaced, flat back-in sites for mid-sized vehicles. There are four or five other campers here beside the host. $5.00 per night for us senior citizens; $10.00 for the rest of the world.