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vagabonds3 "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness." Mark Twain


USA | Monday, 15 July 2019 | Views [44]

Connie and Totem Pole, Sitka NHM

Connie and Totem Pole, Sitka NHM

WE WERE AWAKENED AT 4AM BY THE BLARING of the Maasdam’s emergency alarm.  No, we hadn’t collided with an iceberg Titanic-style, rather a smoke alarm detected an electrical overload.  The captain reassured us that the crew had everything under control and we — I, at least — went back to sleep.


    St. Michael's Cathedral, just as I remembered

I got our of bed as we were tying up to the dock, about five miles outside of town as it happens.  When we were last here in 2007, we arrived on the Alaska Marine Highway ferry from Juneau.  To be honest, I didn’t remember much except for St. Michael’s “Cathedral” and Sitka National Historic Monument.  A re-read of our ’07 journals — of course Connie keeps such things! — reminded us that our campground was pretty basic at one end of the 12-miles of road in Sitka, the weather was exceptionally good and that I had a successful couple of days salmon fishing. 


   Totem replica, Sitka National Historic Monument

Today a community shuttle bus drove us to town where we walked over to St. Michaels and to Totem Square.  We walked a mile or so from the bus stop to the National Park  and watched a film about the history of “Sheet’ka.”  Later we wandered the trails past (mostly) restored totem poles, marveling at the various sounds ravens can make.  It’s no wonder the native Tlingit called the raven “Trickster” and placed it in such prominence on their totems, along with the ubiquitous bald eagle.


   The wiley Raven totem, Sitka NHM

Sitka, by the way, is the town, the island is Baranof Island.  This is where Alaska traded hands from Russia to the US in 1867.  I’ve no doubt that Trump could have bullied the Ruskies into a better deal than Seward managed.  But back then he wouldn’t have been able to tweet about it.


   Sitka Sound

We were on deck when Maasdam sailed away from Sitka.  Looking back we could see the ferry dock and make out where our campsite was a dozen years ago and where I had been fishing.  Maybe my memory isn’t as bad as I thought.


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John and Connie, Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

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