June 18, Sunday
We got off the ferry this morning at 2:00 a.m. and drove out the dock parking lot, down the road 500 feet, and into our campground – Sitka’s Sportsman RV Park. We didn’t even try to get into a site – just pulled over to the side. This morning, while I was still cozy in bed, I was aware that Tom was backing us into a spot. We have full hookups, and while it is just a parking lot, there is grass around to walk Charlie Button, and the asphalt is clean. There are also bath house facilities. and also the view of the bay is fabulous complete with mountains, islands, and the sea.
We woke to blue sky and sunshine, and a word from the campground host to get out and enjoy the weather as it may be the last sunny day for a while. We drove the 6 miles into Sitka, and parked down by the downtown Crescent Harbor. From here, the Sitka Sea Walk took us around the harbor and past a fish hatchery. There were lots of large round tanks filled with thousands of inch-long salmon. From there we walked out to the Sitka Historical Point where the walking path became a wide, smooth deeply-wooded trail lined with totem poles. These poles were not original to the area – but were brought in for repair, preservation, and display. This area is also the site of one of Alaska’s most epic battles between the native Tlingit and Russians 200 years ago.
We climbed Castle Hill with our lunch in hand – the site of the ceremonial transfer of Alaska from Russia to the United States in 1867. At the time, the native Tlingit’s were not quite sure that the Russians had the right to hand over the land! It provided a nice high view of the harbor and Sitka.
While strolling down in the Harbor area, we noticed a sign advertising a Crab Feed Picnic – all the crab you could eat, plus a variety of sides, for $35/person. It was from 3:00 – 5:00, and we had time to run Charlie Button back to the Silvermine, and rest for an hour before checking out the Crab Feed. The event was an annual party on the wharf to support the summer musical festival offerings. The weather had cooperated with bright sunshine and temperatures around 60 – a cause for the locals to be out in tank tops and flip flops! People were invited to bring their tables and chair and set up under the pavilion or on the open dock. Many brought beautiful table settings with tablecloths, china, champagne and flower centerpieces; Tom and I had camp chairs and folding tables!
The crab was incredible – 500 pounds of Dungeness Crab – cooked and chilled and served with drawn butter and fresh lemons. There were also garden salads, coleslaw, pasta salad, and cornbread. No limit. On anything! When we were done eating our fill, we were able to purchase leftover large crab for $5. to carry out for tomorrow night!
With the weather so beautiful, we took a short drive along the coast and then headed back to the Silvermine to sit outside and enjoy some of the late afternoon sunshine. We both have a distinct crabby-odor, and I suppose showers will be in the plan this evening
We love Sitka. The homes and the downtown are lovely, and very much a cut above what we saw in Ketchikan and Wrangell. The locals tell us that for two years in a row they had no snow to speak of, and the temperatures very rarely get into single digits. We can't wait to explore more of Sitka tomorrow.
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown