Friday, January 29, 2010

Sitka: A Special Piece of God’s Handiwork

One of my favorite places to overnight on trips is Sitka, Alaska. Located in the panhandle of Alaska on Baranof Island, it is one of God’s masterpieces. Sitka was originally inhabited by the native Tlingit, but was overrun by the Russians in 1804. The city still has remnants of both its Tlingit and Russian ancestry, including the beautiful Saint Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral. With a population of around 9,000, it’s the fourth-largest city in Alaska.

I love running in Sitka – it has wonderful trails. You can run through the muskeg, which is boggy with sparsely populated trees affording incredible views and something akin to Spanish moss hanging from the trees. Running along Indian Creek is especially impressive when the salmon are running. You can reach down and touch them as they make their way back to their birth waters – as long as a grizzly doesn’t reach out and “touch” you first. The trails along Indian Creek have the most impressive engineering of any trails I’ve been on, with all sorts of ingenious ways to keep the trail going over water and through tight spots. If you’re up for it, there’s several mountains to climb as well, and if you're even more adventuresome, Sitka Sound is an awesome place to kayak.

Sitka has an ELCA and a WELS church, but no LCMS church.

For you aviators out there, the Sitka airport is on an island with man-made extensions, so there’s water on all four sides of the runway. When the weather gets bad the surf can kick rocks up onto the runway. Landing a 737 on a 6,500 foot runway can get interesting if the runway isn’t dry.

Enjoy the view. At some point in the future I’ll post a few more pics. There’s plenty of scenery to go around.

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