As many of you know, 2016 was an exciting year for us while living for 12 months in Sitka - a small island in Southeast Alaska. Our main purpose for moving to Alaska was to practice dentistry for a year in a remote location. While there, we worked for SEARHC - Mt. Edgecombe Hospital. This hospital is open to the public but mainly serves the native population. The dentistry was all encompassing as the nearest specialists were at least 1 (if not more) plane rides away. Not only did we greatly expand on our dental knowledge and skills, but living in SE definitely made us step out of our comfort zone. Sitka may only have 16 miles of pavement, but it is home to hundreds of miles of hiking trails. We hiked every chance we could get. Besides the sometimes torturous terrain, the potential to happen upon an Alaskan brown bear was always a real threat. We never hiked without protection, and luckily never felt threatened - despite several encounters. We were able to witness brown bear from a very safe distance and were always in awe of their majestic beauty and strength. When we weren't hiking, you would have likely found us on our small 17' skiff fishing for Salmon, Halibut, Rockfish and setting crab pots for Dungeness crabs. Almost every time we were out on the water we would see humpback whales, sea lions, sea otters, bald eagles, seals, and the occasional transient orca whale. What made the adventure even sweeter was the lifelong friendships we made while we were there. People who live in Alaska have an innate sense of community and luckily they embraced us as one of their own. Although we are so happy to be back home in Rochester, we definitely left a piece of ourselves in SE Alaska and plan to return as often as possible.
Winter King Salmon Fishing
Bald Eagles EVERYWHERE!!
Black sand volcanic beaches
The view from the clinic where they worked
Village dental travel to small villages, including Hoonah
Literally, the view from their back yard.
Wild Blueberry Picking!
Humpback skull of a whale who was killed accidentally by a boat and washed ashore
King Salmon Derby
Sunset with Mt. Edgecombe in the background
Small Halibut and Lingcod