Sitka is one of the most beautiful communities we’ve visited. Abrupt, snow capped mountains near the shore provide spectacular views and make for a compact village with 7 miles of road to the South and another 7 miles to North. With a population of 8,881 Sitka is the fourth-largest city in Alaska – in fact there are only 75,000 people that live in the some 35 communities of the Inside Passage – part of the Tongass National Forrest.
Shortly after arriving, I stopped in the Sitka Rose Gallery to connect with other artists, and found the shop filled with cruise shoppers many of whom were buying large and expensive original works. Busy co-owner Eugene suggested that I connect with artist at the co-op down the street. At the co-op I met Kay, one of the artist working the shop, “We don’t paint outdoors – it rains too much here.”, she said.
Kay is correct – it has rained every day we’ve been here. But in spite of the rain, it’s taken little effort for me to find multiple painting spots right outside our RV parked in Sealing Cove Harbor. In fact, of the 4 paintings I’ve completed here, 2 were within 20 ft of the RV and the other 2 were within 1/4 mile. What you might not know is that Sitka is a borough that is the largest incorporated city by area in the U.S., with a total area of 4,811.5 square miles, 2,874.0 square miles being land and 1,937.6 square miles of it, or 40.27%, being water. Too bad we’re departing for Juneau tomorrow – I think I could find a few more painting spots – even in the rain.