Ted's Big Ride 2009---Day Twenty-Six

Sitka, AK
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Due to ferry travel constraints, this turned out to be a long day. We needed to check out of the motel in the morning and to be at the ferry terminal at midnight. That left a lot of hours to explore Sitka, the Inland Passages oldest city. After stashing all of our belongings in a backroom closet in the Motel 8, we ventured out into town. Being Sunday, most everything was closed. We managed breakfast and began exploring. There are very old cemetaries, one claiming to hold the Princess of Whatever, that we did not find. We hiked a mile or so out of town to a Raptor Rehad Center. Here volunteers repair and rehab the various raptors that are found in need of medical attention. The ones that cannot be released into the wild are housed here in a life of luxury and cared for. Several pics of these birds are included below.

Next we had lunch in a strip mall extablishment called Pizza Express. Their main menu is totally mexican fare and VERY good by any standard. The staff are all of Mexican decent and I guess they have moved and step up shop here and felt that the name Pizza Express would draw more business that Tippy's Taco House.

Next we hiked back thru the Sitka National Historic Park containing well over a dozen totem poles. The park also contained the battleground where, in 1799, the Russian American Company, led by Alexander Baranof, landed from their base in Kodiak, established Redoubt St. Michael (today the Old Sitka State Historic Site, 7 1/2 miles north of town -- just a grassy picnic area with interpretive signs), and claimed the Pacific Northwest of America for Russia. The Tlingit, sophisticated traders who had already acquired flintlocks, attacked with knives, spears, and guns, and destroyed the redoubt in mid-June 1802, killing almost all of the Russians. The Natives immediately began building fortifications on the site now within the national historical park, anticipating a Russian counterattack, which came in 1804. Baranof returned with an attacking force of a Russian gunship and a swarm of Aleut kayaks, which towed the becalmed vessel into position to begin the bombardment. The Tlingits withstood the siege for 6 days, then vacated their fort at night after a canoe delivering gunpowder exploded, leaving them short of ammunition. The Russians founded and heavily fortified the town of New Archangel, and in 1808 it became their administrative capital. But the Tlingit name is the one that stuck: Shee Atika, since contracted to Sitka.

Bald Eagle
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Great-Horned Owl
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Great-Horned Owl
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Bald Eagle bathing
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20090712/1B7K3002x.JPG Rapture Center Humor
Antenna ??? Sculpture
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Some of the many totem poles
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