My last week, mostly in photos

Oct 6, 2014 | 0 comments

Caution: This post is mostly going to be a HUGE dump of photos from the last week and a half, so if you’re looking for deep reflective writings, give me a few days. Otherwise, if you’re content with pictures, carry on. You have been forewarned.

My last couple weeks in Sitka were a great balance of work and play. I had a bit of comp time to use up and some annual leave, and with one of my best friends visiting, I was able to get out and have some extra fun in the great outdoors.

Local 1st graders studying macroinvertebrates

In addition, with my newly acquired camera, I was tasked to shoot photos for the park for work on several days, which to me, doesn’t even feel like work at all. One of the park’s biggest programs was a week of salmon education for every first and third grader in Sitka. We set up stations along the trail where the classes would rotate through to learn about salmon biology, life cycles, predation, and survival. It was pretty fantastic. I mean seriously, how many kids do you know who get to dissect a salmon in first grade??

The visitor center where I worked all summer

My favorite view (and my future house, FYI)

My other favorite mountains

Indian River estuary

My favorite part of the trail

Last whale flukes of the season

One of our other big end-of-the-year events was the National Public Lands Day beach cleanup. This is a national event where public lands across the country engage their communities in volunteer projects. We didn’t expect many people to show up in Sitka, but we turned out to have over a dozen participants! Growing up in Florida, I’ve done my fair share of beach cleanups, but I must say, this was definitely one of the most epically scenic ones I’ve ever helped out at.

Families spread out along the beach

We found an otter skeleton!

Those mountains.

After my last day of work, I had a few days before my flight back to Florida, so one of my colleagues was generous enough to loan his kayaks to my friend and I. It also turned out to be the one sunny, non-windy day we had all week — I couldn’t believe how fortunate and grateful we were!

We muscled the kayaks down several blocks to the water, and took off across the glassy harbor out to the open seas. The water was crystal clear, so you could see the kelp almost all the way down to the bottom. Sea lions cruised along in formation in the distance, and we even spotted a sea otter doing rolls and flips at one point! A pair of puffins also graced us with their presence, an extremely rare sight so close to shore.

Paddling with a view

Although I didn’t risk taking my D7000 along on this endeavor, I did have my GoPro and spent the whole time filming and taking photos from my kayak.

Smooth seas

Fresh snow barely visible on the mountains

We threw in a line to see if we could catch any coho, but we were much too far from any river mouths. At one point, we paused to untangle the line, and when we reeled it up, we found we had caught a tiny rockfish! It must have been THE laziest rockfish on the planet, because it hadn’t pulled on the line at all or even put up a fight. After a couple photos, we released the poor guy and he swam away just fine.

The laziest rock fish

After 19 hours of flying and a lot of mixed feelings about leaving Sitka, I’m back in my hometown for the time being.

Washington looking all epic on the flight home

Not gonna lie, I really hate this feeling of limbo, of not knowing where I’m headed next, of having bigger aspirations than I can currently fulfill. But here I am. I will try to keep blogging as I embark on my next adventures, and maybe try to backpost some of the stories I’ve collected over the summer, now that I actually have some time to sit back and reflect. Til next time!


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