not the average tourist

Sitka Travel Blog

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My trip in Alaska has been wonderful thus far.   I have been lucky enough to experience record warm temperatures, which is unusual for an Alaskan summer.  The area is absolutely beautiful and the people are friendly and laid back.  I have been traveling around and  doing alot of work with my photography.  We have been hiking and kayaking and the challenge has been rejuvenating for my body.  We traveled around admiratly island, across to baranoff, through the peril straights, and then down to sitka.  I have had the pleasure to encounter several bears, doll porpoises, humback whales, and several times of eals and otters.  The animals are beautiful in the wild, but prove to be quite skiddish because of all of the hunting and fishing pressures.  With the kayaks we are able to get more intimate with the animals.  They are not sure what to make think of humans in a kayak and seem pretty at ease when we are close by.  We have been able to get 10 feet away from several bears while in kayak.  This experience left me quite nervous, but exhilerated at the same time.  I have learned several techniques oh how to read a bears behavior so that we make sure the situation does not get out of hand.  For the most part the bears seem to be peaceful animals, only showing aggression when they feel they are being challenged or forced out of their territory.  As my trip continues and my knowledge increases i feel more confident in the situations and animals that i come across.  I am enjoying my time here and am thankful for the opportunity i have been given.  
Alaska has proven to be the wilderness that i expected.  There are flags that raise concern as to whether this area is being well preserved.  The logging that is done seems to be quite frequent and unfortunately unefficient.  The workers cut as many trees as they can down and many times do not have time to take all the logs that they cut down.  They leave these dead trees sitting in the open to decompose in many years.  Many areas of the logging are also so damaged that they get scar like areas.  It becomes a land of dirt and vegetation is unfortunately no longer able to survive in the area. Sometimes we are excited to travel down to a new area because it has been marked as a national Part.  we are disappointed when we get here to see that not only has the government logged the area, but done it incorrectly leaving the land to become a dense forest consisting of lots of brush and is no longer anything like it used to be. 
Another law that i have learned about it the 3 mile law.  Boat inhabitants are able to dump there trash in the middle of the sea as long as there is no land 3 miles with in the boat from any point.  The theory is that the trash will have disenegrated by the time it reaches the bays and shorelines.  Unfortunatley many of the times this is not the case.  THere is washed up junk all along the shoreline.  Either fisherman are not following the law and dumping wherever, or the law is proven ineffective.  Another cause of concern is that everyone dumps aluminum cans and glass at the bottom of the sea because it sinks.  It is unfortunate that just because we cannot see the trash we do not care what effect it is having on our environment.  I am saddened to think of what the bottom of the sea looks like now, or will look like years from now because of all the waste we have left at the bottom.
I will continue to keep in touch as much as i can and hope that all is well with everyone back home. 
wishes of love and peace
jen
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149 km (93 miles) traveled
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Sitka
photo by: Wildswan22