The local road crews do a wonderful job to clean the streets of snow and ice as fast as they can but there are always slick spots especially near intersections that you must be aware of.........slow do well before and intersection.
Salmonberry is a prevalent plant throughout the island and town. It is not uncommon for Kodiak residents to have a bush or two growing on or near their own property (ask herzog63). This pulpy fruit is not the most succulent of the island's berries, but in July and August it is a familiar "fast food" for residents and visitors alike. The berries grow in a conical bunch, with each berry having a stem or hair-like projection, but the fruit is easy to digest and actually quite filling for its size. Unless the bushes sit on private property, go ahead and tear off a handful and see for yourself.
It is an Alaskan custom but especially practiced in Kodiak to leave one's footwear at the stoop or foyer when entering a private house. The same does not apply to entering a pub or a place of business. This practice is easy to observe, but my backcountry ways and short time in town did not allow me to recollect it often enough to even think about making it my custom (sorry, Nick).
Though Russian dominance of Kodiak ended in the 19th century, evidence of the Russian Orthodox Church is prevalent throughout town and the other settlements on the island. The Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, the seminary or chapel under the same denomination, the ubiquitous Russian crosses and the frequency of religious icons (many made by important Russian iconographers now living in the United States) all tend to portray the deep vein of religious undercurrent in this small community of fishermen and outdoors enthusiasts.
Cemeteries in Kodiak are limited in number and scope. Most people who pass on here generally are shipped to the mainland for interment in Anchorage or elsewhere. At the intersection of Erskine and Upper Mill Bay in Kodiak is one of the largest cemeteries in town (the other is near the hospital). A stroll through the graveyard will reveal not only English names but many Russian surnames. The latter are quite common in town, the descendants of Kodiak's past whalers and fur traders.
On sunny days you will see people working in their flower gardens or mowing the lawn. Not one of my favorite activities but I don't want the neighbors to be angry with me!! LOL There are garden tours given from time to time where people show off their hardwork. I've never gone on a tour but they are quite popular.
If you take a drive out to Whitesands Beach (which if you spend any time in Kodiak: YOU WILL) enjoy the trip on out and don't forget to look for the John Wayne on your left. Kodiak is generally free of graffiti, but this piece is so tasteful it's been left for everyone to enjoy. Apparently, it was painted by John Pruitt, who attended Kodiak High School (the only high school) and was later re-touched when he returned to island to teach. In addition, there used to be an armchair stuck way up in a tree, but it was taken down in the mid 1980s. John Wayne is on the second to last bend on your way.
Many organizations will have floats in the parade. Most of them are just renovated trucks and trailers. They throw candy out to the children as the pass by! Tell your kids to wear a jacket with Big Pockets!
If you are here for the 4th of July Parade come downtown about 1PM and you will be able to join the Kodiak in celebrating the USA's Independence Day. It is quite colorful and after the parade you can enjoy Free food at the American Legion Hall. It's great fun!
Check out the local artists such as Jerry Laktonen. He makes beautiful Native Masks and Paddles based on the local Alutiiq designs. Some of his work can be seen displayed in the Alutiiq Museum, Wells Fargo Bank, North Pacific Fuel in Kodiak and in the Anchorage Museum of History & Art, Haffenreffer Museum at Brown University, He has 3 paddles and a mask on the brand new Alaska State Ferry Kennicott. And he has items in the travelling exhibit 'Looking Both Ways' Which is displayed at many museums. You can contact Jerry direct at www.whaledreams.com.
Bring neutral colored sweaters and clothing. Rust reds and khaki with forest greens are always popular. It will be cool at night even on the warmest days because of the humidity. Comfortable shoes are a must, a women- don't worry about bringing your French fashions- Kodiak is short on women and you will be a goddess in whatever you wear!
Alaska was purchased from Russia, commonly called Seward's Folly. The Orthodox church is very strong here. The indigenous people are Aluutiq. The fastest growing group are from the Philipinnes.
The Aluutiq greeting is cama'i. (chu-My)
The top crosses on the Kodiak Seminary Chapel. They symbolise the Russian Orthadox religion. There are many similar churches throughout Alaska.
You can see displays about Kodiaks Alutiiq history. It is quite interesting! They also sponsor excavations of the local area showing how early Kodiak people lived.
The Alutiiq Museum houses some very cool artifacts found on Kodiak Island. The displays are changed every couple of months so that it doesn't get boring!
The Shelikof offers easy access to downtown, and has a good restaurant for breakfast, lunch and...more
The Buskin River Inn so no longer, as of 10/01/2005 the Buskin River Inn has become the Comfort Inn...more
I've stayed here just once and found it a decent place. It surprises me that a town like Kodiak...more