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Maritimo 2022Mar - S75 LEADERBOARD

Airship | Ford's Terror, Pavlof Cove, Sitka Sound (and a TON of wildlife photos)

by Laura Domela 1 Aug 2022 08:55 PDT
Westward, anchored in Ford's Terror © Laura Domela

Recently, I was reading through John Muir's notes on his trips to SE Alaska in 1879, 1880, and 1889, and came across the part of his 1880 visit where they went up what is now called Endicott Arm, and into what is now called Ford's Terror. He didn't have to call it by name....I knew exactly where they were.

After we had sailed about three miles up this side fiord, we came to what seemed to be its head, for trees and rocks swept in a curve around from one side to the other without showing any opening, although the walls of the cañon were seen extending back indefinitely, one majestic brow beyond the other.

When we were tracing this curve, however, in a leisurely way, in search of a good landing, we were startled by Captain Tyeen shouting, "Skookum chuck! Skookum chuck!" (strong water, strong water), and found our canoe was being swept sideways by a powerful current, the roar of which we had mistaken for a waterfall. We barely escaped being carried over a rocky bar on the boiling flood, which, as we afterwards learned, would have been only a happy shove on our way. After we had made a landing a little distance back from the brow of the bar, we climbed the highest rock near the shore to seek a view of the channel beyond the inflowing tide rapids, to find out whether or no we could safely venture in. Up over rolling, mossy, bushy, burnished rock waves we scrambled for an hour or two, which resulted in a fair view of the deep-blue waters of the fiord stretching on and on along the feet of the most majestic Yosemite rocks we had yet seen. This determined our plan of shooting the rapids and exploring it to its farthest recesses. This novel interruption of the channel is a bar of exceedingly hard resisting granite, over which the great glacier that once occupied it swept, without degrading it to the general level, and over which tide-waters now rush in and out with the violence of a mountain torrent.

To read more please go to the original article.

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