Postcards from Sitka, AK

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Our beautiful home for five nights- Starrigavan Recreation Area. 2nd tent was used as a kitchen shelter in case of rain but canopy so thick we did not really need it.

My grandfather also probably spent a bit longer in Sitka than he intended. In our case, it was the limited number of ferry crossings which kept us here five nights. For Grandpa Ruby, it was the realistic fear of Japan invading Sitka that kept his unit stationed here during World War II. I have a very limited idea of what his time in Sitka was actually like. I know from my father he did a bit of boxing. Mostly oranges. He loved that joke.

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Slugs of every color and stripe in Sitka. This one looks white but probably is a Banana Slug.

 

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Taken from Castle Hill where the Russians once oversaw their territory from a mighty nice mansion. Later the U.S. administered their new territory from same mansion. Mansion now gone. In background is St. Michael’s, America’s oldest Russian Orthodox Church (founded 1848). The original church burned down in the 1960s and was then promptly rebuilt. Much of Sitka’s Orthodox community are Tlingit whose ancestors converted several generations ago.

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Swam a bit at the not so warm Heart Lake (1.3 miles with a gradual ascent). A bit of a doggie beach with many Sitka residents taking their canine there to cool off. Lake also has a communal row boat.

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Sitka Library. T-Rex made by a local artist mostly with things washed ashore.

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From library saw bald eagles fishing Silver Bay. Got a library card here and will be able to take out and drop off books all over coastal Alaska. Paperwork listed area to indicate your fishing vessel’s number as well as the captain’s name.

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Fortress of the Bear- a rescue place situated in a converted pulp mill. This guy is a brown coastal bear- the only bear to be found in Sitka. Almost as large as the Kodiak, they are pretty leery of humans and eat a heck of a lot of salmon.

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View from Mt. Verstovia- a very challenging 1.7 miles with a crazy 2000′ gain. Water is the Pacific, the surrounding mountains pretty much inaccessible.

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Totem Hill National Park- a fun 20 acres of rain forest and nifty totem poles.

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Food is pricey in Sitka. Mean Queens pizzeria/bar is a good option and has free pool. Henna hustled us good.

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