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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sitka National Park

This 113-acre park is the smallest national park in the state. But it is the site of some of the most important events in Alaskan history. And the back entrance is only about one block from our inn, so it is a convenient place to visit.

To the locals, the site is known as Totem Park, because there are many totem poles along the trails in the northern side of the park. Along the bay is a clearing and a grand pole that marks the spot where stood the fort of the native Sheey At'ik√° tribe of Tlingit who fought and eventually gave way to the Russians in 1804.

We next visited the hatchery and saw numerous indigenous invertebrates, including the sunburst fish and octopus. And just offshore the fish were jumping! Down on the rocks people were casting their lines. Even though our home town is surrounded by a cornfield, we had the distinct feeling that life here was lived more in line with nature.

On we ventured toward the other side of the city. Stopped to look at some bicycles for sale. That may be a purchase we make soon. The walk from our inn was about three miles, and back about two miles. The road along the harbor was noticeably cooler than the more inland roads. And the crows were the size of small bear cubs. Along the way we paused to rest and admire Swan Lake, where we saw four ducks but no swans.

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