Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Postcard from the Road : Sitka, Alaska

It is winter here in Sitka, Alaska.  I am here visiting my parents for the holidays and enjoying some very needed rest and relaxation.

The weather this time of year in Southeast Alaska is almost always cloudy and gray.  Being a "temperate rainforest" also means that there will usually be some precipitation - sometimes frozen, sometimes not :)

Swan Lake - December 25th, 2011

Christmas day turned out to be one of the only times I got to see some blue sky, so I went out to enjoy it.  This is Swan Lake, located in the middle of town.  As the sun was going down (about 2:45pm), the snow-covered peaks behind town light up nicely - if you can see them.

I grew up in this town, and to be honest, it has not changed much since then.  The population has remained steady.  Even with the death of the logging industry, along with its $30 million/year payroll (significant in a town of 8000 people) several years ago, for every family that moved away there was an inbound family, looking forward to living in this little slice of land nestled at the base of the mountains along the outer coast of Alaska.  Tourism remains strong, and the commercial fishing fleet has grown along with the supplies of salmon and on the strength of the trolling and longline fisheries.

Will I ever move back?  That remains to be seen.  There is so much beauty everywhere and no shortage of outdoor activities, which is important to me.  On the other hand, it is an isolated island community, the winters are long and dark (though not that bad because of how far south Sitka is located), and I have become very accustomed to the lifestyle in San Francisco. 

In the meantime, I will be sure to keep coming home as often as I can!!


Mt. Edgecumbe


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