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2012/02/10

Alaska part 3

After my long and I do mean long breakfast I and 7 others got on a small bus to take a 23 mile ride to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.

In 1912 largest Volcanic eruption in the 20th century occurred here but because it was so isolated the local tribes had left the area along with the animals so there were no deaths. It took a few years to get an expedition from Nation Geographic’s into the valley to see which volcano had erupted and to access the eruption area.  They saw innumerable small holes and cracks in the volcanic ash with steam spewing from them. Not knowing that it was the supper heated rivers in the valley escaping. They named it The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. The supper heated ash did cool and the steam vents dried up.

Now this ride again takes hours because the road is dirt and not smooth or straight. As we approached the outpost at Three Forks you could see the ash covered valley floor stretching  out for miles.  We got our instructions and set our watches to meet in 6 hours to take bus back to Brooks Lodge.  It took 30 min to hike down to valley floor but once you get there it is like stepping on another planet.  The harden ash was so many different shades of pink ,grey and yellow.  The rivers have cut deep gorges through the ash cover landscape that makes crossing impossible in many places so I could not explore as much as I had hope to.  But the part of the valley I did hike kept me awestruck, at how the ash had transformed this place  This was the only day in Alaska I did not see any animal

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