3 thoughts on “Wild Sitka, Alaska—Eagle Talons, Brown Bears, Spawning Salmon & “Monsters”

  1. Thanks, Natan, for sharing your experiences in Sitka, my old home town in the 1970’s. I see Tommy Joseph’s hair is a bit grayer, like mine. He’s the totem carver. In the 1970’s the Russian Orthodox Church didn’t allow photos to be taken inside their cathedral. I’ve got lots of good memories there including some fantastic auroral experiences. I lived in town, had less than a 5 minute walk to the Sitka Barber Shop, a block away from the Russian Cathedral and across Lincoln Street from the Pioneer Home and a block the other direction from Castle Hill, the official spot where the USA purchased Alaska from the Russians on October 18, 1867. Lots of history in that little village. Thanks again.

    • IMO, Sitka is one of the most beautiful spots I have ever visited, and that’s after visiting 22 countries on 4 continents and half the US states. It is easy to understand why the Tlingits and Russians settled there and then why the natives fought so hard to keep it. It’s also easy to see why the Tlingit art is so advanced. They had such an abundance of food and resources at their doorstep that they didn’t have to spend all their time hunting and gathering, which left time for artful pursuits. As you know, their art is world-renown. More of it is in the British Museum and then in one of the Nordic countries than anywhere else including AK. Their art was either stolen from them by the Europeans or traded for trinkets. That said, I respect the work of Tommy John. Went back the next day and talked to him some more. He charges $3k per foot and that cedar log is well over 30 feet tall and the tree was about 450 years old. Tommy has spent a lot of time studying Tlingit art, especially warfare implements, and worked at some museums back east as well as spent time in Europe studying his people’s art that’s housed in museums over there. Also, when you were barbering in Sitka, it’s doubtful that TJ was one of your clients, or if so, not very often looking at the length of his hair. LOL.

      Several years ago, I was privileged to spend more than a week on Baronov Island on a fishing trip. Float planned in with one of the top and most renowned bush pilots in AK (he was going for 50,000 hours in the air and has been flying for about 60 years). Flew into the NOAA salmon hatchery and science research station at Little Port Walter, so saw the island from the air. Also boated around in the Chatham Straight and down to Port Armstrong. Fishing was amazing, needless to say. Also hiked up into the mountains and had a brown bear encounter. Whew! That was a close one. Got to know and love that area. Anyway, you can see the video I made of it all at

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    • Check it out. It might bless you and bring back some good memories.

      Blessings to y’all there in MT. Wish I could find a way out of the Soviet Socialistic “Republic” of Oregon, but Yah has had my family planted here for more than 120 years, and I have no other income except my tree service, which doesn’t uproot, transplant and then reestablish to another area very well especially at this late stage of my life.


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