SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Real Answers to Real Questions
By Dave Kiffer


May 06, 2008
Tuesday PM

Ketchikan, Alaska - Spring is here!

jpg Triangulate This, NAVSTAR! By Dave Kiffer

Robins are chirping, skunk cabbage is flowering and street maintenance is being deferred once again.

And yes, visitors are asking all sorts of questions.

I like to think of myself as a pretty helpful kind of guy.

If someone asks for "a hand," I immediately start clapping.

And if someone asks me to "help them out," I immediately ask them "what way they came in."

So, with that in mind, here are the amazing, real, true answers to some of the many questions that you (as a similarly helpful kind of person who wants to show our fair Salmon City off in its most favorable light ) will encounter in the next five months.

Do you take American money?

Of course not. It's not worth a plugged farthing these days.

What is the elevation here?

Since we are 54 degrees north of the Equator, we're obviously 54 feet above sea level.

How long does it take for a deer to turn into a moose?

Usually about three years, although some deer in Southeast actually turn into "rain" deer instead.

How much does Deer Mountain weigh?

Deer Mountain currently weighs approximately 3,486,922,779 pounds

Does the weight change later in the day?

Plus or minus 16,000 pounds depending on the number of climbers.

Why does Alaska look just like Canada?

Alaska and Canada are both made up of large amounts of the same kind of rocks and trees.

Why are there so many jewelry stores here?

Reverse outsourcing.

Do bears poop in the woods?

Only if dock stalls are full.

Does it rain all the time?

No, only between the hours of 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m.

What is the name of the lake our ship is on?

Lake Curiosareus.

Why are the trees so green here?

Eco-friendly spray paint.

Is global warming melting the glaciers?

Do you see any?

Are the bears tame?


How long have you been an Alaskan?

Since I woke up this morning.

If I go to (whatever destination in question) will I miss my ship?

Of course not, you can take a cab to the next town.

Speaking of which, how long of a drive is it to Juneau?

Definitely a one iron.

When do the whales come out?

There are shows at 10 am , Noon and 2 p.m.

Are there still prostitutes on Creek Street?

No, they couldn't afford the rents.

Why aren't there any fish in the Creek (usually asked before August)?

They are on the menu at (restaurant name here).

I can't see my ship, where is it?

Halfway to Juneau.

Where are the dog sleds?

At the doggie ski resort.

Are you really an Eskimo?

No, Eskimos have better weather.

What do you do in the winter here?


Do you know any tall tales?

No, Alaskans are too honest to stretch the truth.

Are people in Alaska really that honest?

As honest as the day is wet.


Dave Kiffer is a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
Contact Dave at

Dave Kiffer ©2008

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