Returning to the Wild Wild West Side of Cook Inlet

Budget constraints kept them out of the field last year, but I’m happy to be headed back North to our last frontier to join the Alaska DNR Geologist while they survey the west side of Cook Inlet. It’s quite the operation and last time I learned a great deal. Apparently the same group is coming out this year and I’m anxious to rekindle old friendships.Not only with the DNR group but the usual gang that operates the Snug Harbor Cannery.

Wild West Side

I’m starting to lose count of the number of times I’ve headed north to the midnight sun, but it always gets my heart rate up when I think about it; especially the wide west side of Cook Inlet. It truly is still wild with no roads and almost no footprint of people. I don’t have exact numbers, but I do know the bears far outnumber the people if that give you an idea.

Chisik Island and the old Snug Harbor Cannery are a magical gem in all of this wilderness. I’m not the only one who thinks so; I ran into one of the grand daughters from the original owners of the cannery on Instagram. Small world indeed.

Alaska Geology

If there is such a thing as reincarnation then I hope to come back as a geologist in my next life. I had no idea it was such an interesting field. I had a blast working with these scientist last time. (A sharp contrast to some of the projects I found myself in where it was more a front for planning family vacations then doing real science.)

Here’s the mission statement from the DGGS’s website:

Determine the potential of Alaskan land for production of metals, minerals, fuels, and geothermal resources, the locations and supplies of groundwater and construction material, and the potential geologic hazards to buildings, roads, bridges, and other installations and structures.

We’ll be hosting roughly a dozen of them over the next few weeks. Their days are long and hard with most of the day spent in the field and nights documenting what they found. But they seem to love the work they do and their enthusiasm never wavered.

Not only did I come home with an increase in my education and new friends but I was given a large piece of petrified tree that they date to be 240 million years old! It’s my prized piece in my collection of natural artifacts.

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