Alaska Report #4…Edge of the Ocean

Shale Kenny and I arrived in Sitka and took a bus into town. We were the only two people on the bus. Never-the-less, the driver gave us a splendid tour, complete with historical facts and unusual stories thrown in. I don't know if we were the only people in the hotel, but it seemed like it.

Friendly people, though, whenever we met any, and that is what I will remember most about Sitka. That and they had the most beautiful location for a library I ever saw in my life. They went all out for their children's department, too. But--unless a child was over ten, I wouldn't advise them to look up

I took a picture of the outside bench from inside (where it was warm) but--as you can see--it would be more heavenly on sunnier days. I am told they do get some of those there. Except they also say the sun only shines about seventy-five days out of the year. The rest of the time it's raining. Or snowing. When we were there, it was what one might call freezing rain. blowing ahead of fifteen to twenty knot winds.

On to have a look at the boat harbor, where the Captain and I would put in with the Glory B, next summer. They said it was "just over the bridge." Have a look at the bridge. We were nearly blown off trying to cross it, and felt as if we had accomplished something huge just making it back from the other side. My ears were freezing, even though I had a hat on, and--poor Shale--she hadn't worn hers because she wanted her hair to dry after a wash. Let's just say there was no opportunity for that until we returned to the hotel.

Meanwhile, everything was pretty much closed up in Sitka. Well, almost everything. The post office was open, along with some sort of pizza place that doubled as an espresso stand. But as for the museums, the parks, and the dozens of other tourist attractions, it wasn't going to happen. Lots of roadwork and renovations going on, too, as everyone was gearing up for the first salmon run in a couple of weeks that would kick off another tourist season.

There were many lovely trails we could have taken that meandered through rainforest, beaches, and around lakes. But since they were measured in miles and we nearly got brain freeze just walking over the bridge, we decided not to top off the visit with having to be brought in by search and rescue. After that, there was only one thing left on my list to do. Since we were in one of the most popular fishing locations in the world, I wanted to try a bowl of their clam chowder.

We were told there was one place open that had such fare. So, armed with a couple of umbrellas (freezing rain, again), we set out to brave the two blocks we would have to walk to get there. Except it turned out to be closed, too. It was rather like being on an empty movie set. Because behind St. Michael's, a Russian Orthodox church standing in the Middle of the main street that had been there since the eighteen hundreds (which I dearly wanted to look in, but it was locked), all the way down to the water, the streets were empty. But, no… wait…

A block and a half away, a lady was walking her dog. So, we hurried to catch up with her. Oh, yes, there was a very good place open, and she said she would take us there. Which I thought was truly going above and beyond, until she took us down a side street, between a couple of buildings, and into the back of another with no sign on it. Where inside…

It seemed like half the town was crowded in, a lovely folk band was playing (fiddles and everything), and they were serving up some of the best food I have ever tasted. Ever. Including clam chowder. They knocked six dollars off the bill (maybe it was the off-season price) and there was enough food left over to cover our next two meals. And it did have a name. It was called the Larkspur Cafe.

Such were our adventures in Sitka. Up next: an overnight ferry ride to Wrangell… the first-ever outpost in Alaska. I'll be back Monday to let you know how that goes.

Hugs and blessings,

(waving hello to the amazing Sally Apokedak, today… who is probably off traveling somewhere, herself. "Ahoy, Sally! What a wonderful place for a writers retreat a ferry would be!")


  1. I love clam chowder! And would have loved to have heard the fiddles. Sounds like a grand time. Thanks for keeping us posted!

  2. Karla, I asked the lady who was walking the dog how long she had lived there, and she said only six months but she loved it. Everyone I talked to not only seemed content, but there was a local thing to totally ignore the weather. We were the only ones with hats, gloves, and umbrellas! Something of a mystery there, but I haven't figured it out...