Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sitka Alaska, Land of the midnight sun!

My oldest son Pete,is stationed in Sitka Alaska, along with his wife, and 6 children! It is not easy to fly to Sitka.....It is an Island 180 miles east of Juneau, and it involves a 2 day trip from Tampa. ( I could fly to Europe quicker!) Last September, I spent 2 weeks there, along with my son Rob and his family. Sitka is an ideal place to see nature in all its glory!

Pete is a commander in the Coast Guard and flys the H-60 helicopter.

This is the view he sees every day from his back porch! No matter how bad the weather is, the view is still spectacular!

Downtown Sitka is so fun to visit! all the little shops sell Alaskan artifacts souvenirs, and Russian curios. Sitka used to be a Russian fur trading post, and has a serious Russian heritage. At the end of the street is the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, which is over a 100 years old! Very beautiful and worth a visit!

Downtown also has an old fashioned Soda fountain, located in the local Pharmacy. You can sit at the counter for a ice cream soda, or a hot fudge sundae! I think Priscilla loves the cherry best!

Cruise ships come most every day in the summer season, and there is so much for cruisers to do! You will tender in, if you are from a large cruise ship. Smaller ships will dock near town.

Whale park is only a short bus ride away

And this totem pole is in a cute little park, along the harbor. Just across the street from the soda fountain! A great place to meander about, while eating your ice cream...

Mt. Edgecombe  is an extinct volcano, just across the water from Sitka...

Thimbleberry lake is just a short walk from the downtown area, and a lovey 1 mile hike from the easy for cruisers....

you walk along the water

Sit for a spell to listen to nature, and watch the eagles fly by...

Another park fairly nearby, has boulders for kids to climb

Hiking up is fairly easy ( after all I made it!)

Crossing rivers filled with salmon

And the waterfalls are spectacular!

You can see whales from this vantage point...

or you can just find a place to sit.....

At whale park, you can hike down to the water if you dare!

Or sit at the top of the path and enjoy the view

Even the bathrooms are so cute and rustic!

and I do mean rustic! Grin

Totem Park is just a short walk along the harbor..It is fulled with totem poles, ancient trees,  and little fairy holes for kids to climb in!
Cruisers....don't let them sell you a shore can do this on your own!

all the totem poles outside are replicas, but inside the museum you can see the old totems....and marvel at the craftsmanship. The museum is free.

At the edge of totem park the water beckons. Full of tidal pools, crabs, and ideal for just old fashioned rock throwing! 

And of course a lovely view of Mt. Edgecombe , and the bridge that leads to the airport and Coast Guard station

The island is home to the Sitka brown bear, but I have yet to see one in the wild.

 Fortress of the Bears is a wonderful place
to view the bears in a safe environment.

The bears are all rescued bears, or bears that need to be removed for safety.
You will need a taxi for this visit at the far end of the island.  Well I say far..there is only 12 miles of road!

We rented a cabin for all 13 of us and this was the view from the back yard as you sat in the Jacuzzi!
You could almost get up front and personal!
The view from the front window!

The kids had a Jacuzzi, and there was also one for the adults! How nice is that!

Alas, it was time to leave....this is the view of Sitka, as we flew home...Goodby and farewell to my Alaskan adventure!