The next stop on our adventure was Sitka. Sitka was once the home of the Tlingit people. Then, in the mid 1700’s, Russian fur hunters entered the area. Sitka’s location provided a great port on the outer coast of the Pacific Ocean. For a while, Sitka was the largest city on the Pacific coast of North America! This bustling, trading town became known as the “Paris of the Pacific”! When the USA purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867, the exchange ceremony took place in Sitka. Today, the charming town has about 8,000 year round citizens. Commercial fishing is the main industry of Sitka.
While we were visiting Sitka, we were able to visit the raptor rehabilitation center. This center takes injured raptors and birds and rehabilitates them. Many are released back into the wild. Some; however, are unable to leave the center. These birds make the center their home. We were able to see many of these birds. How amazing to be so close to a bald eagle! I am hoping join the “adopt a raptor” program with my amazing 5th and 6th graders! What do you think??
After departing Sitka, we headed for Ketchikan. Ketchikan is just north of the Canadian border. It is known as the “Salmon capital of the world” and relies on fishing as its main industry. Other industries include gold and copper mining and tourism. Ketchikan is an island community, accessible only by land and water. The city lies between mountains and the water, it is a couple of blocks wide and 14 miles long.
While in Ketchikan, we visited the Saxman Totem Park. We were able to watch master carvers make totem poles. We also saw some native dances performed by some native children!
Our last stop on this amazing expedition was Victoria, British Columbia. Our visit in Victoria was a short one. Joe and I enjoyed a great dinner at a waterside restaurant and then a stroll around town before returning to our floating home. Our evening was spent packing and getting ready to return to our beloved Alabama!