Weekend Wanderer: Austin, Texas to Ketchikan, Alaska

WW_Blog_ZakZeinert_Ketchikan

Based in Austin, Texas, Zak Zeinert is a travel and landscape photographer who loves exploring this planet with all of its beautiful sights and wonderful people. He just returned from an Instagram takeover in Ketchikan, Alaska as part of Alaska’s Weekend Wanderer series. For more Weekend Wanderer posts, make sure you’re following Alaska Airlines on Instagram.

My Aunt Dawn has been a flight attendant for a major U.S. airline for almost thirty years. About a month ago, I asked her what she considered was the best domestic airline to work for and fly with. Without missing a beat, she answered “Alaska Airlines.” Thirty-something days later, I can understand why.

Less than 24 hours after that conversation, I received an email with the subject line, “Alaska Airlines loves @ZakZeinert,” and was formally invited to travel to the state of Alaska on behalf of Alaska Airlines.

I’ve longed to visit Alaska since I was about 15 and have loved photography for even longer. When I read that email it felt as if I was dreaming. Even after arriving in Ketchikan, moments of elation would strike me as I remembered where I was and why.

I can’t speak highly enough about my experience as a #WeekendWanderer. As for Ketchikan, I’ve fallen in love with this small town. From the amazing staff at the Inn at Creek Street to the kindhearted locals I met while out shooting, every person welcomed me with open arms and after five days here I feel like a part of the community. The scenery is stunning, the trails are numerous, and there are endless places to explore.

Alaska Airlines gave me free reign to shoot what I wanted. In their own words, they told me to go have an adventure and do what I do best. They gave me the freedom to make the trip my own and I’ll always cherish the experiences I had here and the different places I was able to photograph. From kayaking across Knudson Cove desperately seeking an Orca whale encounter to watching the sun go down over historic Creek Street; Ketchikan, Alaska will forever hold a special place in my heart and I know that this will not be the last time I visit this magical place.

Far edge of Creek Street. I got this shot with my Canon 5d Mark II last night at about 9pm (notice how bright the sky still is). As pretty and iconic as it is now, during the 1920's Creek Street was actually Ketchikan's red light district, or as they say around here, a place "Where more men than fish went upstream to spawn." Looking forward to sharing more of this incredible place with everyone. Stay tuned for more pics! - @zakzeinert

Far edge of Creek Street. I got this shot with my Canon 5d Mark II last night at about 9pm (notice how bright the sky still is). As pretty and iconic as it is now, during the 1920’s Creek Street was actually Ketchikan’s red light district, or as they say around here, a place “Where more men than fish went upstream to spawn.” Looking forward to sharing more of this incredible place with everyone. Stay tuned for more pics! – @zakzeinert

Took this outside of Creek Street. They say come August this river is overflowing with Salmon bringing with it black bears and Eagles to partake in the moving feast. Guess I'll need to plan another trip here soon - @zakzeinert

Took this outside of Creek Street. They say come August this river is overflowing with Salmon bringing with it black bears and Eagles to partake in the moving feast. Guess I’ll need to plan another trip here soon – @zakzeinert

Rainy days look better in black and white - @zakzeinert

Rainy days look better in black and white – @zakzeinert

Made a trip out to Saxman's Totem Park. It was very humbling standing in front of these towering monuments. I particularly like what this guy's doing with his hands. - @zakzeinert

Made a trip out to Saxman’s Totem Park. It was very humbling standing in front of these towering monuments. I particularly like what this guy’s doing with his hands. – @zakzeinert

Saw this sign yesterday at Settler's Cove while out hiking. Truer words have never been spoken, I only hope that one day more people can take lessons like this to heart. There are so many lessons to learn from nature, if we just slow down enough to listen - @zakzeinert

Saw this sign yesterday at Settler’s Cove while out hiking. Truer words have never been spoken, I only hope that one day more people can take lessons like this to heart. There are so many lessons to learn from nature, if we just slow down enough to listen – @zakzeinert

Kayaked out in Knudson Cove. The weather finally turned nice and I absolutely had to take advantage of it. I paddled about a quarter-mile out to this island where I had breakfast while video chatting with my sisters. They both thought I was crazy for going alone, but I've always found time spent in solitude with nature replenishes my spirit a little bit. - @zakzeinert

Kayaked out in Knudson Cove. The weather finally turned nice and I absolutely had to take advantage of it. I paddled about a quarter-mile out to this island where I had breakfast while video chatting with my sisters. They both thought I was crazy for going alone, but I’ve always found time spent in solitude with nature replenishes my spirit a little bit. – @zakzeinert

Out looking for killer whales. Don't tell my mom - @zakzeinert

Out looking for killer whales. Don’t tell my mom – @zakzeinert

When you're out shooting and the local wildlife decides to model for you - @zakzeinert

When you’re out shooting and the local wildlife decides to model for you – @zakzeinert

My work with Alaska air is beginning to conclude. I can't thank @alaskaair enough for giving me such a grand opportunity. It truly felt surreal at times. From the breathtaking locations to the amazing people I met, I will forever remember this incredible journey. I hope you all have enjoyed seeing Alaska thru my lens and I can't wait to share my next adventure with you all! Thanks again, everybody! Never stop exploring! - @zakzeinert

My work with Alaska air is beginning to conclude. I can’t thank @alaskaair enough for giving me such a grand opportunity. It truly felt surreal at times. From the breathtaking locations to the amazing people I met, I will forever remember this incredible journey. I hope you all have enjoyed seeing Alaska thru my lens and I can’t wait to share my next adventure with you all! Thanks again, everybody! Never stop exploring! – @zakzeinert

13 Comments on “Weekend Wanderer: Austin, Texas to Ketchikan, Alaska

  1. Family members are now traversing the inside passage from Seattle to Juneau. Latitude and longitude data of Ketchikan would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  2. Send him to Juneau to get pictures of humpbacks bubble netting.

    • We have that in Ketchikan also, actually right off the dock at Knudson Cove just feet from a moored boat!
      On Knudson Cove Marina’s Facebook page are some videos of it…amazing!
      🙂

  3. I have just returned from my first cruise to Alaska I know I will go back because there is so much to see and on ship you don’t get enough time to see everything, this is truly Gods country.

  4. Sitka is my favorite city in Alaska, so far. The mist, many shades of green, Totem Park, food, culture, scenery, wildlife, history, and the wonderful people keep me wanting to revisit this exceptional place. I’d be back for the third summer in a row, if I could afford to go. Sitka is in my heart.

  5. We fly all over, and have traveled 13 times to visit our Son in Anchorage.
    Alaska Airlines is a cut or more above the rest.

  6. Great photos!

    My first trip west of the Mississippi was to Ketchikan, AK where I ended up spending 9 months in between my junior and senior years of college (it delayed my graduation by a semester but was worth it!). I made lasting friends and memories in this magical place. I recall sitting on the rocky banks behind Seamart and watching the Alaska Airlines jets land across the narrows. Between that and weekly trips on Taquan Air out to Naha Bay, thus began my love affair with both aviation and Alaska.

    I ended up moving to Alaska after college and lived there for 11 years before moving to Seattle 9 years ago. I’m also proud to call Alaska Airlines my employer for the past 20 years. It’s been a fun ride, and Alaska (especially Ketchikan) will always hold a special place in my heart.

  7. PROUD TO HAVE LIVED IN THE STATE FOR 22 YEARS

  8. I traveled May 27th to June 6th from Las Vegas to Anchorage for 9 days, the Flights on Alaska Airlines are always on time, excellent service and well organized. I was so impressed with the scenery of Alaska that driving over 1600 miles in 3 days was so easy to do, Anchorage to Homer and back one day. Anchorage to Fairbanks via Glenn Hwy was beautiful. Fairbanks to Denali via so Alaska hwy 9 had spectacular views. Going back to see Alaska in the dark. Took an 8 hour cruise off Seward, it was everything they advertised in the brochure. Saw Orc as, Humpback, Sea lions, otters, porpoises, Eagles in their nest, puffins. It was a great adventure! A scratch off my bucket list at 57 I am very conscious of how I spend my time. Cheers!

  9. The picture of Totem Park looks more like the one north of town past Ward Cove Than Saxman. Just saying- Lived in Ketchikan 57 years. growing up, family and businesses. Sure miss it.

  10. I am a Travel Agent and agree on this Article all the way. We take Large Groups to Alaska witn many cruises-lines. ALASKA AIRLINES are the Best! Airfare, flexibility, inflight service, airport assistance, station administration and Groups Dept. We have been working with Alaska Air from LAX to Alaska, Costa Rica (station manager is super nice) Mexico, and DC (Station Crew thmembers best we do student groups to DC) thanks Alaska air. We are set to see you this August for our Alaska cruise with large group! http://www.Travelteck.com

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