Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It wasn't always perfect

On our second day in Aialik Bay, the day I wanted to do two biggish kayaking excursions, we woke up to this gray. Gray is fine. I can handle gray. But I was sluggish getting up and then we had to eat and wash dishes, and by then it was raining. Ben went on a long walk down the beach and I curled up in the cabin and started reading The Yiddish Policemen's Union, an oddly appropriate book. (Appropriate because it takes place in Sitka, AK where the weather is almost always like it is in this photo...gray and rainy.)

So I spent most of the day sleeping or reading and then we went on a long walk down the beach, where this picture was taken. It's amazing how some places are still so gorgeous even when the weather is less than ideal.

This is a shorter post, but it's also about nine hours overdue. For that reason, I'll toss in another gray picture for free. Aialik Bay has lots of dead trees, leftover from the tsunami/earthquake in 1964 that heavily damaged Seward and changed the landscape of much of south central Alaska. (This is not a super optimistic post.) For more information go to the Wikipedia page.

Because my train of thought is leading to more images, I'll throw in one tsunami related image. This is a new awareness campaign, I believe, in coastal towns near fault lines. (I've seen it in Seward and Monterey, CA) For some dark reason, I find it highly amusing. I think it has to do with the visual, not the message.


Simon said...

I have several responses to this.

1. Even the bad weather is pretty in Alaska!

2. I currently have a pile of eleven books to read, but I'm totally going to read The Yiddish Policeman's Union RIGHT after that! I haven't read anything by Michael Chabon since Kavalier and Clay, which is odd, because I liked that so much.

3. I had no idea Alaska was at risk for tsunamis. Interesting.

4. I feel like disaster-warning signs are always hysterical. "In case of giant wave, quickly scale absurdly steep mountain!" Sure. Easy!

Katie said...

I have several responses to your responses.

1. True. That was something I had forgotten. I'll write a story about that sometime in the next few days.

2. That is fine. I'm reading mostly non-fiction these days, so it was a fun departure. Much faster read than I expected.

3. Alaska is in the ring of fire, an area around the Pacific Rim that is essentially built on fault lines. So earthquakes and volcanoes are prevalent. Actually those things seem unrelated, but anyways, there are lots of bad earthquakes in AK. Underwater earthquakes lead to tsunamis. The 1964 quake was a 9.2 and 119 people died from the tsunami (primarily in Valdez which was basically destroyed) out of the 131 that died total. The towns of Valdez, Whittier, Seward, and Kodiak were hit hard by the tsunami. Luckily the Alaskan coast is far less populous (especially in that part of the state) than most other coastlines in the US.

4. Exactly. Run far far away. Or up. Or both. There's actually a mountain in Seward called Mt. Marathon and there's a footrace up it every July 4th. I tried to get Ben to run it, but he didn't.