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Sitka, Alaska

Alaska is beautiful!Today we were in the town of Sitka, Alaska of Northern Exposure fame. A 26 mile bike ride doesn’t sound like vacation to a lot of people but it says vacation to me. Three brave souls from our ship signed up for the Advanced Bike Ride tour (two of us were named Andrea, clearly a name synonymous with adventure) and ended up having quite a few hilarious stories after all was said and done.

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Sitka is a huge town, spread out and bigger than New York City, though the population is only 8800. We rode to Old Sitka State Historical Park to fill our water bottles along with all the locals using fresh spring water from a well. The water was pretty tasty. We put a few spruce tips in the water for a fresh, lemon taste.

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(Taking photos while bike riding is hard!)

Bald eagles swarmed the area near the state park and I one flew so close to me while holding some halibut intestines that I thought was a snake. I yelped loudly.

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The Advanced Bike Ride then got adventurous and lived up to the advanced part of its name. The Sitka Cross Trail is a network of gravel hills for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing situated up part of a mountain.

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On the very first “hill” up all three of us had to get off our bikes and walk them up. That should have been my first clue that my road biking days and spin classes were not going to help much on this trail.

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On the second big hill, I didn’t jump off soon enough. I ended up losing all momentum, slid backwards, and fell off into some bushes. My new bike friends said it was a very graceful fall into the bushes but I think they were just trying to make me feel better. The best part- I hardly got dirty and didn’t even break a nail.

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After about 30 minutes of this, the other Andrea tried to bribe the bike tour guide with a seafood lunch if he got us off this horribly difficult (for us) trail.

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Overall I loved the bike ride, the road portion best and we got to see a lot more of Sitka than one would walking around. I met Mom in town and did some sightseeing and shopping with her (yay for my new Sitka sweatshirt).

Me walking down the middle of the not-so-busy Sitka street:

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The old Russian Orthodox Church, now St. Michael’s Cathedral, was filled with icons and made for a unique interior.

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But all I wanted after my bike ride was a beer so we found an outdoor patio (60 degrees and sunny in Alaska!) and had a fresh and amazing Alaskan Amber on draft and seafood chowder. I love Alaskan Amber and it is so much better on draft.

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Reader Question: Favorite post-workout treat? Banana, chips, bagel, beer???

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