On the edge of the world
- By: Jean Adams
Next stop Sitka. It has been a long journey. Thirty six hours of trains, planes, and airports. I hope that Sitka is worth it. Nestled on a strip of flat ground between the mountains of Baranof Island and the Pacific Ocean, in the far south east of Alaska, Sitka was once the capital of Russian America, but now survives on fishing and tourism.
I have come here to experience life and medicine in rural north America and to satisfy my longing for isolation. The road in Sitka is 12 miles long. The town is accessible only by plane or boat, has 8000 inhabitants, and a 10 bed hospital. I hope that I will feel suitably isolated.
Even while loitering around the airport waiting for my lift, I get the feeling that this is going to be a weird place. There are people wheeling huge boxes of freshly caught salmon to