Ports of Call | The Tao of Tenakee Springs

For anyone that has been lucky enough to find their way to Tenakee Springs, its impossible to forget. My first experience was on the decks of the F/V Coral Sea while summer salmon seining in 1999.  At the time, I couldn’t imagine how people could live there.  Over the years, we would pop into Tenakee Inlet for early pink salmon runs and I would always enjoy a good soak followed a beer at Rosie’s Cafe.  I’m now lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving in Tenakee with my family.  The best part is our tea kettle from 1999 is still there in the “Tea Kettle Garden.”  Man, I love Tenakee.  Here are some videos and a recent article about the vibe of Tenakee.

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The Tiltin Hilton is coming down and a little girl named Ila has come to live here. At first glance, it might be hard to see how the two are connected, but they surely are and, taken together, they offer a clear glimpse into the future of our town.For decades, the Tiltin Hilton has been a Tenakee trademark, easily the most photographed place in town, right up there with the outhouse behind the fire hall. Its a one-room cabin in the traditional Tenakee style of hand-hewn logs, one narrow door and a couple of tiny windows. It might be over 100 years old. Nobody knows for sure.For perhaps 40 years, it has sat empty and unattended, its legal ownership in murky limbo. Strips of what used to be curtains hang limp in the broken out windows. A rusty tin roof has kept the rain and snow out, but the structure has been slowly decomposing from the ground up. Now, the rot reaches to the window frames. We call it the Tiltin Hilton because the whole thing leans like a drunkard into the hillside behind.

via CapitalCityWeekly.com – Southeast Alaskas Online Newspaper.


  1. Wonderful. Tenakee was a regular stop when I was little and my family was fumbling through hand trolling on our trimaran. On a rare trip to the inside about 4 years back, Cap’n J and I stopped in, and I felt the same delight rush back. Awareness of being an absolute outsider, even as a fisherman, but being okay with that, just comforted by the knowledge that a community like Tenakee continued to exist. Thanks for this one, and best holiday wishes to you and yours. (Request for a photo of Tea Kettle Garden one of these days?)

  2. In fact, I did click through to the article! I’ve been impressed with a lot of Capital City’s articles, including this one. Also, I smiled to see a couple men at Fish Expo yesterday who were wearing “Tenakee Springs Fire Dept” shirts. Have fun; Expo’s a great time.

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