A Travellerspoint blog

Sitka, Alaska

Thursday, July 26, 2007

rain 0 °F

We wake up to rain hitting the roof, but by the time we leave for downtown Sitka the rain stops. Our first stop is the Sitka National Historic Park Visitors' Center. We look at their exhibits about the Tlingit native culture and watch their excellent movie about Sitka's history.
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After the movie we take a hike around the totem pole trail next to the museum. There are about 20 different totem poles from the Tlinglit and Haidi tribes. The totem poles are interesting, but it's the nice relaxing walk in the woods that I really enjoy.
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In the afternoon we walk around the downtown area (along with about 2000 cruise passengers), stopping first at the Russian Orthodox Church in the center of town, St Michael's Cathedral. We learn more about the Orthodox religion and enjoy the beauty of the building. No photos allowed of the inside of the church, but we take some pics of the outside of the church. Actually, I take A LOT of pictures of the outside of the church -- I really like the architecture of the Orthodox churches.
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After spending time in the church we head over to the Bishop's House.
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It is a refurbished house that once was the residence of the Russian Orthodox bishop and is one of the few remaining buildings from the Alaskan-Russian era. The Orthodox church could no longer afford the upkeep so they donated it to the U.S. Park Service, who fixed it up and now have it open for tours. We get an interesting tour of the residence by a ranger, including a tour of the Orthodox Chapel that is on the second floor.
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We spend the rest of the afternoon walking around the town and harbor area.
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Of course we're in southeast Alaska, so eventually we know it's going to rain, and the rain comes in mid-afternoon today. We drive down to the area where the original town of Sitka was founded, before being destroyed by the Tlingits. There's a small park there and it's a very picturesque area. The salmon are jumping in the area and there's a fishing boat in the bay, so we watch the salmon for awhile (in the rain). Alaskans do not use umbrellas so we have also stopped using umbrellas. After awhile you just start getting used to being damp :-)
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We try to take a short hike in the rain in the national forest near our campground, but we don't get very far before we give up and get back in the dry truck. We drive around for a short while and then call it a day.

Posted by jengelman 13:14 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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