Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Highland Dancing By: Annika

Dancing at the Pub
We started learning Highland dancing last year in January. Mom put us in the class because it was free and mom's great grandma was Scots. Highland Dancing is a Scottish ballet, the dance we are learning is called the Highland fling. There is more than one dance of Highland dancing one of them is called the Sword dance which one of the boys in our class is learning.

We go practice every Monday evening at the Episcopal church.  Our teacher's name is Mrs. Jane, she works at a clinic close by and she teaches us after work. On St Patrick's day we were in the town parade as the Highland dancers. We then went to O’Brien's pub to perform the Highland Fling. We were also in the Fourth of July parade and after the parade we went to a pioneer home and performed for the people there. On November 30th we will be preforming at the St John's church for St Andrew's day; we are looking forward  to it. My sister, who is twelve, knows the Highland fling the best right now; so she is teaching the younger kid's including me. After the St Andrew's day show we have a holiday break and wont start again for a month. We are hoping to keep doing the Highland dancing until we head south next summer.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rainbird Trail - By Adelaide

Ketchikan recently built a new City Library above town in a area called Bear Valley. The library used to share a building with the Tongass Historical Museum and both were running out of space, and as the Museum was a tourist attraction the library was moved to it's new location. After the move we had to find a new way up there, because the bus only ran up to Bear Valley once an hour; so we did not visit the Library as often.

The By-Pass
We found the shortest way to walk to the library was to use the 3rd Ave. bypass.
The bypass was built in 2002 to make a second route for traffic to get from the north end of town to down-town. It starts right above the marina and ends in Bear Valley where the library is now located. Walking the bypass was quicker then waiting for the bus, so on nice days we would take the bypass for the fresh air and exercise. We had walked the bypass a couple of times and had noticed two staircases about a quarter mile apart, going up the rock cliff and disappearing into the trees. We wondered where they lead, but did not take the time to investigate. So, on a nice wonderfully warm sunny day our curiosity got the best of us; we gathered water bottles and snacks and we started out.

When we finally got to the stairs we discovered they led to the Rain Bird trail. The sun was bright and high when we started up the steps; when we reached the top of the stairs we turned and looked out across the Tongass Narrows. We did not realize at the time it was just a prelude of things to come. We climbed straight up for the first ten to fifteen minutes, taking short rests when we were winded. The path we were on opened suddenly on the Rain Bird trail which meandered along the hill side. We turned south and started noticing green ferns and ice cold crystal clear creeks. A slight breeze whispered through the trees as we walked; the heavenly smell of pine trees and a sweet smell from the sun when it warms the moist ground. Our ears were filled with the sounds of water falling down the rocks below and the wind rustling the leaves above.  

Our world became one of hopping over creeks and running down stone steps as if we were on an ancient forgotten road. Climbing over and under fallen trees and always wondering what lay around the next bend or over the next rise. We broke from the forest quite suddenly and found ourselves atop a cliff looking down at the town below. A wood fence stretched along the cliff top adding to the beauty of the Tongass Narrows, Ketchikan, and the islands below. It was so breathtaking; there were boats out on the water heading or returning from sea empty or laden down with fish, Cruise Ships were leaving and docking, and the islands were rising and falling in hills and mountains. You could see pretty much everything there was to see all in one glance!

We really did not want to leave the Rain-bird trail, as we descended the stairs we made a decision right there and then that we would return as often as possible, and we have. The Rain-bird trail is a place to think and get your mind settled, a magical place where fairy tales seem true.

Editor: Dad