Monday, April 20, 2015

Q is for Quake Lake

Quake Lake is the offspring of the 1959 Hebgen Lake Earthquake. For the people fast asleep near midnight in mid-August of 1959 there was precious little time to wake up and react before the landslide covered them. 28 people perished in this aftermath of a Montana earthquake. The Madison river was forever changed. For Mother Earth it was likely just another day in the office, one more nudge to keep things aligned and in adjustment. A tragedy on the human scale, a tiny little event in the context of all the other events on the earth's crust at that point in time.

I've driven by Quake Lake a couple times now. Peaceful. Green. People out enjoying themselves, perhaps mindful of the tragedy a lifetime ago. The people seem to forgive and forget especially in the face of something so powerful like Mother Nature deciding it's time to drop a mountain into a river. Nature has no memory though. It has limits of elasticity beyond which rocks break and no longer bend. It has limits to tension and compression, beyond which adjustments have to be made. There is no soul in these things, just cold hard limits beyond which rock break and snap or move. Humanity loses when old Mother Nature decides to make a change.

No comments:

Post a Comment