Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kayaking - July 2008

The Palmer Hay Flats lie along both sides of the Glenn Highway as you come into the Mat-Su Valley. The Hay Flats used to have open hay fields, grazing cattle, sheep and horses in Colony Days prior to the Good Friday 1964 earthquake. The earthquake registered greater than 9.0 on the Richter Scale. As a result of the earthquake, land that was once prime farming land, dropped several feet and became a 45 square mile complex of forest, wetlands, tidal sloughs, lakes and tideflats. Here is a link that shows a picture of the "ghost forest" created by the earthquake.

The Friends of the Palmer Hay Flats had an Open House and educational day at the Flats. They offered free canoeing and kayaking on one of the lakes. We took advantage of the opportunity to try kayaking. It's something we would like to do again, although we are not quite ready for the "white water" league.

Chugach mountains in the background, covered with clouds.
Even with the clouds, it was a great view.

The water was so clear that you could see the algae under the water.

The water search and Rescue Team did demonstrations at the lake. They could approach the victim in the water with their special inflatable boat. They paddled straight at the victim until the victim was in the area where you can see the hole at the front end of the boat. then they just reached down and hauled the victim in to the boat. No worries about trying to get the victim into the boat from the side and tipping over the rescuers too.