Sunday, October 25, 2009

At long last, may I present: SITKA!

First view of town, from the ferry docks:

A rare sunny day; this is what I can see from the window at the restuarant I work at! Not too shabby :)

My new home! For a couple months anyway...

Sunset - right from Mary's front yard. Unbelieveable!!

The harbor:

The town of Sitka, Alaska:

So, I'm finally here! The ferry ride up was incredible. We saw dozens of humpbacks whales, hundreds of porpoises, plus bald eages, sea otters, the whole nine (but no orkas, although word on the street is that killer whales sometimes come into the Sitka bay in the winter and wreak havok with the sea lion population). Most of the trip was spent sailing through narrow channels in between the dark green islands of British Columbia in the gray rain, but occassionally the sun came out--and even when it didn't, it was beautiful. I camped on the upper deck with a guy from NH and a couple from New Zealand celebrating their honeymoon by traveling around the world, and it was a blast. We stopped in the coastal communities of Ketchikan, Wrangell & Petersburg along the way...
I've been in Sitka for a week now, and other than the first day when I took these pictures, it's rained the whole time. To an extent, the rain and fog can add to the beauty, but it also gets a little old. I've been working as a waitress at a brand new restuarant downtown (about 2 miles from Mary's house), and I just bought a used 3-speed bike at a police bike auction for $5 (I still have to lube it up, put air in the tires, and put on a new chain--that's my project for tomorrow!) to get to and from work. I also got a pair of Northface rain pants for $10 at a gear swap at the library, so I'll be staying remotely dry when pedaling to and from work every day.
Sitka is surrounded by absolute beauty, but it's surprisingly the largest place I've lived in the past 3.5 years and I'm kind of shocked by the nice-ness of the restuarants, the heels and the makeup that women wear, etc. Sitka--and the people who live in it--aren't nearly as rustic or self-sufficient as I would've imagined from Alaska, but Sitka is just one little isolated spot of civilization (accessible only by plane or boat) in a vast roadless wilderness, so I guess I should grant them their lower-48-crasies. I haven't gone hiking yet, but I just got some bear spray ($42.50 for an 8-oz can!) so I hope to get into the woods soon. Next week, regardless, I'll be getting back on the ferry and heading down to Wrangell for a week in the wilderness with Alaska Crossings, my future employer, so i'll report back then. In the meantime, I'm going to apply to volunteer at Alaska search-and-rescue, try to get either another waitressing job or a substitute teaching position, and get my bike up and running. Gotta run! xoxoxo

No comments:

Post a Comment