My last official work trip in Alaska took me to island communities in the Southeast...Juneau, Sitka, and Prince of Wales Island including Klawock and Craig. I've already written about all of this trip except for the couple of days I spent in Sitka, so here it is.
By the way, official websites are better, I think, at advertising their uniqueness and if you are interested, check these out: http://www.sitka.org/ ,http://www.traveljuneau.com/ ,http://princeofwalesonline.com/ . You won't be sorry at all.
In the meantime, here's my take on the "natural place to visit."
I feel constrained to offer, again, just a wee bit of history on the hill. It's called Baranof Castle Hill State Historic Site, but there's nary a castle upon it, today. It's an historical site of Tlingit and Russian forts, the area of land understood by the Tlingit people to be ceded to the Russian government following the battle of 1804, and the location where, in 1867, the Russian flag was lowered and the American flag was raised, marking the transfer of Alaska to the United states.
It's also an area from which you can get some pretty decent views on a nice day.
I climbed a couple of other, smaller hills, up to the Russian and Lutheran Cemeteries and catered to my interest in rusty, old things in general and old Russian things and buried people.
Here, at Ludwig's, I had the best paella I've had since about 1981 at a college dinner party where the hostess decided to try her hand at something different.
Not only was it the best paella, it was one of the top meals I've had the whole two years I've been all over Alaska. Another was at the Kenaitze Elder's center lunch (in Kenai) where we had volunteer, simple-folk, homemade salmon quiche and salmon chowder...and salad with real, garden tomatoes.
While we're discussing eating in Alaska, you have to know that I've been in a number of establishments with unmatchable views, and here is one that holds a dear place in my heart and soul.
McDonald's in Sitka! Isn't that fabulous? I can spend a couple of bucks for lunch and get this million-dollar ambience...inside or out. On my first trip here, my traveling companion, in the old days when I had a traveling companion, actually declared a moratorium on eating at McDonald's, before I could suggest it one more time.
I'll leave off this post with a couple more pictures, the way I usually do, of just miscellany.
I include this last picture of a little cafe in a radio station where I had mediocre food, but was very entertained while eavesdropping. Those earnest youngsters at the counter were discussing the merits of drinking plenty of water, walking into the woods with a shovel, digging and squatting over a hole to relieve constipation. Such a simple, miracle remedy that the woman's future house-building plans included a toilet with an extended seat to accommodate climbing up and placing one's feet alongside one's seat. The man then described a toilet he had seen that had been placed flush with the floor, probably a more reasonable accommodation. (I remember those squatters from my stint in Korea, and I know that those of you who know me are assuming I joined in the conversation, as is my wont, considering I never met a stranger, but I remained safely aloof, silently consuming my sammy and soda...this time.)