Friday, August 10, 2012

August 9th, 2012: Earthquakes, Bears, and Valdez Museums

It was eerie to feel the fifth wheel shaking,(a 5.2 magnitude earthquake), and I knew it was an earthquake. We had just been at the old town site of Valdez, where part of the town had undergone liquefaction and slid into the sea taking thirty peoples lives.
There we had wandered the shoreline and looked at the wreckage and pilings, all that remained of the old town. A kayaker and seal were watching each other as the kayaker was checking his shrimp pots. We found some old pottery shards and an interesting rock, but little remained as the town moved to its new site after the state demanded the town relocate.  it was sitting on crack lined landslide material and fractures had opened up everywhere.
 Later a museum curator told us the old site was disappearing into the sea at the rate of an inch per year, and that seemed apropo to me as so many children had lost their lives there,(A cargo ship had just come in and the children had been on the dock to get candy, apples and oranges thrown by the crew).
It was early morning and I had woken Renita at five thirty as we were going bear watching. A sow brown bear and her four cubs had been hanging around and we hoped to see them. Driving out to Daysville we stopped and watched the spawning salmon but didn't see any bears till we headed back and spotted a black bear along a small stream. We watched as it waded the shallow water and picked two pinks from the water. It didn't eat them right away but then finished them both off quickly.
It disappeared into the brush and we left to give it a rest.
Later we went to the Old Town museum and then to one of the best museums we have seen, the Whitney Museum at the local community college. Its filled with the Whitney collection of Alaskan Art and artifacts. It explained the difference between the two but the lines seemed awful blurry.
Regardless the artistry was simply outstanding and again this was one of the best museums we have been in while in Alaska.
So it was a busy day with an earthquake, a bear, and two museums and that's why we are here in Alaska. That's why we are on the road, its not yet time to settle down and we still have so many places to see. Clear skies

1 comment: