This week I saw an ad for a hike to Deer Mountain sponsored by the Ketchikan Recreaction Center. I signed us up, and we went to the trailhead to meet the group at 10:00 this morning. We were excited about going up one of the mountains in Ketchikan with a group so we didn't have to worry about bears.
Speaking again of bears - people here regard them as a usual occurance. It's just no big deal. I'm still wary and squeamish of them because I haven't had a bear encounter. Maybe after I do, I'll be more matter-of-fact. But until then, I'm sticking to groups! (In fact, we met one of our neighbors the other night and he asked if we had seen the bear walking down the road last night... We're not in our house yet, so we hadn't - but once we are, you can be sure I'll have my eye out for such a sight.)
We ended up hiking to the first summit which took about 90 minutes and went up about 1200 ft. The morning was misty and chilly - in the 50's - so we wore raincoats. Even though it didn't rain, there was an intermittent occasional drizzle once we got up high because of the mist. The path was lined with palm-sized stones, boardwalk and staircases. Staircases are a fact of life in Ketchikan as some of the streets are actually staircases because of their position on the cliffs. (In fact, I passed a street today in town that was steps - no pavement at all!)
The whole hike took about 2 1/2 hours - just long enough. No bears and not summit view because of the mist, but the view along the trail was awesome.