Motion Episodes

Exploring Rainy Ketchikan

Ketchikan is a gateway to southern Alaska's wild outdoors! The area is filled with dense woods, abundant wildlife and adventure around every corner but it is also a place where the weather doesn't always cooperate -- as Greg soon discovered.
Ketchikan is a city that thrives on tourism and fishing. It was named after Ketchikan Creek, which flows through the center of town.

From April to September, it is busy with cruise ship tourist. Roughly 5,000 people a day flow through Ketchikan's downtown area, enjoying shopping, culture and a variety of adventure options -- like kayaking and fishing.

The city, which is nicknamed the salmon capital of the world, sees more than 130 inches of rain per year.

Greg explored Ketchikan with two very enthusiastic guest hikers  Nina and Carey.

"When we found out we were going to be on Motion, I was speechless. Alaska is a place where my husband and I have always wanted to come so when this opportunity came about we were just thrilled and excited to be part of this," said Nina, guest hiker.

Greg had planned to charter a float plane to Leconte Glacier so they could explore the 21-mile river of ice, but the rain grounded their flight plans. Instead, they found a nearby trail for hiking on Ward Lake, which has a network of trails that are easy to access and are relatively flat.

"It's raining, it's cloudy, it's sort of misty and there's no one around. There are bears and other wildlife in the forest and we are going to walking in it," said Greg.

The two-hour hike offered some amazing and breathtaking views of Ward Lake. The trail is an easy hike for any skill level and at the end there are shelters that are perfect for a picnic.

Bears are known to frequent the area so it is a good idea to come prepared. The Motion crew made sure they were all armed with pepper spray and knew how to use it.

Greg and the guest hikers carried their Alpacka Rafts with them on the hike but the rain put a damper on those plans, too.

On day two, they were supposed to tackle a nine-mile hike on Deer Mountain Trail up to the 3,000 foot peak. The trail provides views of the entire Ketchikan area. But, there wasn't going to be much of a view with all the rain and clouds, so they chartered a boat and decided to do some sightseeing on the water.

"I think this is great. It is so far out of what we are used to so this is amazing," Carey said after putting his rain gear on.

Even though the Motion crew wasn't fishing, Baranof Fishing Excursions was more than happy to take them out to explore the beauty of Alaska. While the rain and clouds didn't clear for their boat ride, they were lucky enough to spot a few humpback whales. Then, using bait fish they tried to lure some bald eagles closer to the boat.

"Seeing a bald eagle snatch a fish out of the water in real life is one of the coolest things I have seen," said Carey.

Finally coming to peace with the fact that the rain was never going to stop, Greg and the guest hikers headed to Refuge Bay, which is north of Ketchikan, to do some paddling in the rafts.

Nina and Carey had a great time exploring Ketchikan even though the rain never stopped. They managed to make the best of their trip.

For more information:

Segment 1
Ward Lake Trail  Near Ketchikan, Alaska
Ward Lake Trail Near Ketchikan, Alaska
After a float plane trip is cancelled due to weather, Greg and the crew get creative and find some local trails along Ward Lake to make the most of their first day in Ketchikan.
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Segment 2
The Elusive Captain Chuck
The Elusive Captain Chuck
With more wet weather and limited visibility for hiking, Greg and the guest hikers make another call to switch up the plan. They decide to take a boat trip out into the passage to look for wildlife -- if they can only find Captain Chuck!
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Segment 3
Refuge Bay
Refuge Bay
With no break in the weather in sight, Greg, Nina, and Carey decide it's time to break out one of Motion's favorite toys -- Alpacka Rafts -- and do some paddling in nearby Refuge Bay.
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Segment 4
Making The Best Of Rainy Weather
Making The Best Of Rainy Weather
Even if the trip didn't go quite as planned, Carey and Nina kept a positive attitude and with some creativity they still had an amazing experience and the memories will last a lifetime.
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Photo Gallery
Photos: Exploring Rainy Ketchikan
Ketchikan is a gateway to southern Alaska's wild outdoors! The area is filled with dense woods, abundant wildlife and adventure around every corner.
See Photo Gallery

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