Music on the Mountain

(June 19, 2023)

“My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require.”  Edward Elgar.

Suzi and I were hiking down from the old World War II radar site on Harbor Mountain and we heard Bach, not Elgar, playing on a cello.  Sharp eyed Suzi pointed to a knoll across the muskeg and said, “photo shoot.” 

It was the reflector that caught my eye. I picked up my camera and zoomed in on Zuill Baily from the Sitka Music Festival playing Bach while a video crew shot the performance.  I was enchanted.

We finished our walk, went to the car, and drove over toward the shoot and, in best paparazzi (paparazzo? there is just one of me) fashion, using my long lens, shot away.  I posted some of the pics on Facebook and Zuill used one of them for his FB cover shot. 

Summer is here, and, of course, we have no idea how long it will last.  It could be days, or it could stretch into August.  But when it comes it’s best to drop what plans you had and take advantage.  From sea level we see the mountains turn red and orange in the fall as the Alpine tundra turns, then it’s white with snow, and as the snow melts, brown.  Then, in almost a sudden burst, it is bright green. That happened last week so on Monday we decided to drive up Harbor Mountain.  Harbor Mountain Road is 5.6 miles long and runs from Benchland Road to the top of the mountain at about 2300 feet with 6 switchbacks and 4 gates. (That is confusing because the first gate is gate zero).  The road was built to provide access to a secret radar site. For more information you can click:

Last month the road was closed at Gate 3, but I ran into snow on the road before that.  Someone posted on Sitka Chatters that the road was open to the top so up we went.  The wildflowers have not popped yet, so I guess we will have to go up next week, if the weather cooperates, to catch that.  It is such a short window.  There have been some slides that were cleaned up and some of the rocks along the side of the mountain showed some more fractures.

Winter was not kind to the boardwalk going to the old radar site (now the pad for a picnic area) but the day was perfect. 

We looked out over Sitka Sound, some clouds, fog, or mist below, clear blue above.

One thought on “Music on the Mountain

  1. One thing I love about reading these daily musings about life in Sitka, is that it helps bring me back there. I have visited often over the years, on vacations, of course, but love the state so much and your essays make it feel close again.

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