EDITOR, Daily News:

I am writing this letter having just returned from a too-short fishing trip to your great city. I say too short, for my partner and I could have certainly spent a lot more time enjoying ourselves there.

I'd like to express my great appreciation to all the wonderful and helpful people we met from our lodging at the Inn on Creek Street; the everyday service providers in your restaurants and shops who were just so very kind; and Alaska Car Rentals, which helped in every way possible to ensure that we had transportation when needed.

 In addition, Baranof Fishing Excursions did everything they could to make sure our day on the water was a day to remember — from the moment I first made contact with them from my home in Napa, California, I was taken back by just how much they really wanted to help. On first meeting, the office staff all had big Alaska smiles and were just so open and friendly. Then there was our captain, Capt. Chris Baldwin! Wow, just isn't enough to say about someone who is so committed to his profession. His enthusiasm from boarding to departure was something to truly be admired.

In 1970, a friend and I rented a 250 Camanche and flew to Yakutat, for a moose hunt, and then down to Ketchikan where we flew in for a drop-off sheep hunt. If I recall, the pilot’s name was Todd. Great hunt, good memories, but again too short.

Then in 1979 I was hired by the Anchorage Police Department, which I was with for about a year. I then returned to Napa to resume my career in law enforcement. Wanting more of Alaska, three friends and I drove the Alcan Highway to Lake Hood for a drop-off caribou hunt. Again, good hunt and memories, but too short. Which brings me back to my most recent trip to Ketchikan. This trip for me was the most telling of all my trips to the beautiful state of Alaska. Between the sheer beauty of your state and the kind and welcoming ways of your citizens, I can't wait to return. And maybe someday I won't find myself saying: Too short.   

Kudos to you Ketchikan, for being all that you are.

DICK HATHAWAY

Napa, California