Wednesday, July 29, 2009

After a night in Anchorage at the Captain Cook Hotel (very swanky), we took a short train ride down to Whittier to put our luggage aboard the Diamond Princess for departure that evening.

Whittier is an interesting town. The town is dominated by two large buildings, one is where most of the town residents live, the other one abandoned. Wikipedia has this to say:

The Buckner Building is a large abandoned government building in Whittier.

Two factors combine to make safe demolition of the building cost-prohibitive: First, there is a fair amount of asbestos in the building. Second, the only land-route in and out of Whittier is through the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, so debris would either have to go through the tunnel or be moved on ships.

The building is a local hang out for kids, and is often explored by tourists. The safety of the building is marginal, due to the asbestos and questionable structural integrity. Bears are often found inside the building in the spring, and it is full of ice and precariously dangling pipes, wires, and substructure. The floor is almost completely flooded, with at least one inch or more of water on each level.

Excuse me? "local hang out for kids" and "bears often found inside" would seem to be mutually exclusive, but that's just me. Gotta love Alaskans.

We had about 7 hours before we had to be on board for departure, so we decided to hike up to Whittier Glacier.

See that little white boat? That's where we started walking from, hours ago and before much lactic acid poisoning. The view was worth it though. Peaceful and beautiful.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gosh, your photographs are beautifiul and the commentary gives all the local flavor. Thanks for letting us live through you two!

Bonnie in Boerne