Sitka - an outdoorsman's dream

by JessB on ‎08-22-2014 11:09 PM (575 Views)

 

Eagles, sea lions, and whales, Oh My! Sitka is an outdoorsman’s dream. From lush green forest to crystal clear waters and a volcano, Sitka has just about everything, yet it’s only a few square miles.

 

As the ship nears the city, the smell of fire places and sea salt fill the air. Like the other Alaskan cities we’ve sailed past, a heavy fog hangs like a crown among the mountains and volcano. Although the ship nears the port, a small ferry takes passengers ashore to the quaint fishing town.

 

Little do I know the epic adventure I am about to have, but first I have to make a few stops. I quickly head to the national park and make my way through totem poles and neon green foliage. I happen to catch a hawk as he pulls a fish ashore for an early breakfast. The trees are magnificent with roots the size of cars. I reach a stream where sockeye salmon are literally jumping out of the water.

 

 

Now, it’s time to kayak. Sure, I’ve kayaked hundreds of times in Florida alongside dolphin, tarpon, and manatees, but I had no idea what I was about to witness. Never did I think the brochure would come to life. You read descriptions and see photos of whale sightings and other sea life, but to see these creatures a few yards from a kayak is life changing. Kayaking is definitely the thing to do in Sitka. And don’t sell yourself short, book a half day or more. It’s worth it. Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures is a family-owned company that does it right. From grandma’s cookies and salmon quiche for lunch to Connor’s stellar kayak navigation, you can’t go wrong.

 

 

The people of Sitka are a hospitable and interesting bunch. Everyone seems to have their niche and they’re very good at it, from bone carving to fly fishing. The flowers are as vibrant as the people and the heritage is ancient. Although I didn’t get to eat any, I heard the clam chowder is second to none. One can literally walk the town and visit the attractions in two hours or less, so there is plenty of time to do an excursion and experience the aquatic wildlife.

 

 

Overall, this small fishing village packs a full punch of once-in-a-lifetime experiences. If it’s not already on your list of places to visit, be sure to add it. 

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