Progress in Ketchikan:
I generally approve of the move to Ketchikan. On the one hand, when it drizzles in Juneau (which is a whole lot of the time), it pours here; but on the other hand, when it's 30F in Juneau, it's more like 40F here. There's less nice hiking here compared to Juneau, but the town seems generally saner and functioning as a town, whereas Juneau seemed often a bit too much like an Alaskan version of Santa Fe, or Aspen.
And the sky here is big, whereas Juneau was sort of like being at the bottom of a crater -- altho a nice green scenic crater. Ketchikan is also right on the ocean, in the middle of the archipelago, instead of being, like Juneau, in a little sort of fjord at the far end of the islands.
The Haidas seem very at home here, whereas my impression of Tlingit culture in Juneau was that it's more sort of Athapaskan-ish -- more at home hunting moose deep inland, more at home with terse languor and dolor, even when joking. The Haidas seem more hop-skippetty, more sassy, more spice in the food and more fish sizzling in the pan. It's like stepping out of Fargo and into Ed Wood. It's like going from Strongsad to Bubs.
The husband of one of the Haida language apprentices is a master carver, and I showed him a Japanese lacquerware obento box I've had for years. He adores the concept as well as the execution. Now he says he wants to make some Japanese-inspired obentos too, but "Haida-sized". Presumably also Haida-style. Maybe out of cedar?