Posted by MMMMarcia on November 02, 1999 at 08:12:42:
In Reply to: Re: LOTM in Vanity Fair posted by Chris on November 01, 1999 at 23:19:44:
: Oh, my dear Marcia! Whittier in the winter??? Now I'll admit, the scenery is breath-taking, but the ambiance... I mean, what can you say about a town where all the buildings are concrete bunkers?? You poor thing. You will simply have to come back sometime and see the real Alaska.
I'd LOVE to, Chris. I'll bet the scenery is magnificent, and the wildlife fascinating all over your state.
I suspect the ambience in Whittier was toughter on the adults than on the kids my age. I seem to remember a lot of people stationed there for very long developed drinking problems. I think they were probably bored out of their minds. But for me, it was an adventcha! Playing in the snow, ice skating, etc.
You're right about the concrete bunkers! How did you know that? It was really a tiny half-moon of land between the glacier and the harbor, and was only kept open because the water never froze there (due to some Japanese current or other) and supply ships could get in and out all year. I remember the train we took from Anchorage to Whittier...right out of an old western movie, with tapestry hanging on the walls, and open windows, and a cow-catcher on the front of the little locomotive engine. We had chugged along the tracks for about 30 minutes when the train came to a dead stop...a moose was standing in the middle of the tracks, and we had to wait for it to decide to move. The engineer yelled and blew the train whistle, but the moose just stood there, staring at us, as only a moose can stare. We must have been stopped there for 15 minutes before it ambled on off, and we continued our journey.
Shortly after we left for the States again, Anchorage suffered that really awful earthquake. We could recognize a lot of the stores and places we'd visited in the photos that came out after the destruction.
Someday I'll come back to Alaska & really see what it's like. Maybe you can email me some photos some day!
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