To be there when it is perfect is beyond most Alaska visual ambrosias. The combination of small-scale urban dignity, tradition, and stunning natural backdrop can be overwhelming.
On my last visit there, I decided to start this blog. Longtime friend John Stein was watching me navigate the web as I researched an issue for Diane Benson. As I scrolled, and John and I talked, he was helpful, bouncing back to me new information, sometimes disagreeing with me on an issue or assessment.
I'd been a longtime commenter at forums and blogs, but wasn't ready to start my own. The conversation with John (he was the Wasilla mayor who Sarah Palin beat in 1996, and was the Stika city administrator in 2007) was part of the first final step. The next day, I sat on a bench in the afternoon sun, down by the northern part of Sitka's waterfront, and contemplated writing for keeps. I looked up at Alexander Baranov.
Neither Baranov nor John Stein provided the solution for me, but they helped. John's help was key.
Anyway, Sitka is a magical place.
I've spent several weeks there over the years. Jeanne Devon's tree picures, taken there this past weekend, are magical. The best tree pictures by Alaska bloggers (that I'm aware of) are by Erin McKittrick, Steve Aufrecht and Jeanne. I miss Dennis Zaki, but we've still got a good tree crew.
AKM's tree pictures are here, at the Mudflats. Here's a sample: