As the summer draws to an end, irritation with season visitors peaks for many Southeast residents.
I’ve only lived in Ketchikan for a few weeks now, so the place still seems big. I know it’s not, but compared to Klawock, it’s a metropolis with incredible people-watching opportunities.
I can go sit on a bench on the cruise ship docks to count languages or ask the locals what the elevation of Ketchikan is to see what kind of answer they’ll give me. It’s pretty fun.
I didn’t like tourists when I was growing up. My buddies and I would bike to the river, then all of a sudden these outdoor magazine models would show up with Alaska fishing kits sold to them by people who didn’t know what they were talking about.
I’ve changed, but some have not.
Some Southeast citizens harbor the same anger toward what floods their docks each summer. They see the treated lumber flats that host cruise ships as an abscess – an infectious growth of cookie-cutter jewelry stores run by Outsiders; tourists crossing busy streets on a whim; and a palpable sleaze.
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