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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

CHRONICLES: A Dark and Rainy Evening

Ketchikan is a very unique place. The other day, through my job, I had to do a walk-through of the local Trident Seafoods cannery. The place is a powerhouse. They have the capabilities of canning one and a half million cans of salmon every week. I can't remember all of the statistics the guy giving me the tour was rattling off, but it was pretty amazing. It putsinto perspective how much of the local economy is based on fishing.

The days have been getting shorter. In Colorado, they seemed to lose a minute or two every day. Here, because of our latitude, it seems as though we lose five or ten minutes a day. It's almost as if you ca actually feel the tilt of the Earth swinging away from the sun. (Yes, I know that the angle stays relative to itself and the position of Earth changes as I circumnavigates the sun...) Still, it's a little unsettling that it feels like a month ago, it was light an hour or two later than it is now, and it's been dark for an hour or two already. We haven't even fallen back into standard time yet.

Last month, Ketchikan received almost thirty inches of rain. When I spoke with my dad on the phone, he made the point that we had three or four years worth of the rain they receive in his part of Colorado. It would be interesting to see what would happen if our precipitation switched places for a year. They would have floods and mudslides and overgrowth of grass and no fires. We would have dirty clothes, empty salmon spawning streams, lots of fires, and lots of shipping water up here.

Still, it's very calming being so near the ocean. Every day I spend here helps me understand the attraction the ocean has to so many people. As we're on the Inside Passage, we don't really hear the constant breaking of waves and the like. Still, it's quaint to see the gentle rise and fall of tides as your day slowly moves on, as the Alaskan worker keeps on task diligently.

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