Thursday, September 6, 2012

~~Quake Lake, Montana~~

Well, this is a bittersweet story of a life altering event that occurred on the night of August 17, 1959.  Two hundred and fifty people were camping in one of the most popular canyons in the West, Madison County Canyon, Montana.  

Soon after 11:30, a terrible silence fell over camp.  An earthquake on the scale of 7.5 on the Richter scale struck the canyon.  Just 20 seconds later the entire wall of the canyon collapsed at the speed of 100 miles per hour, swallowing the campsite, the river, the road and even rode 700 feet up the other wall of the canyon.

Of the 250 campers, 28 died. Of those, 19 are still buried beneath the 88 tons of rock that changed the landscape of the canyon forever. 

It is surprising that the debris left after that horrible night sits still as it did at the light of dawn the next morning.

Even the debris of the cabins still rest where it landed that night.

The earthquake and collapse of the canyon closed the river, leaving a body of water (now, "Quake Lake") rising at a rate of 9' per day.  To relieve the lake and allow the Madison Canyon River to flow again, engineers carved a path through the debris from the new lake to the river.

Today, Quake Lake is one of the fishing meccas of North America.





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