Wednesday, July 15, 2015

THE TUNNEL

A one lane tunnel shared by cars in both directions and the train marked our entry and exit into Whittier, Alaska.  This town is perhaps the most unique village I have ever visited.  To get there---be at the line up point at the half hour, pay the toll, and wait your turn to drive the  2 1/2 mile long tunnel through the mountain.  Built during WW II to ensure portage to protect this valuable line of defense, the tunnel was amazingly constructed in two years.  



As you drive through the tunnel you note the jet engines providing ventilation to keep the fresh air flowing and the fumes exiting.  An intricate system of "Safe Rooms" are seen periodically through the tunnel--a reminder--it can collapse--there are earthquakes in this neck of the woods--it has been there for more than 60 years---things happen.  Driving in the same lanes as the railroad rails requires a certain skill and a steady hand.  It was best to NOT think about stalled traffic--breakdowns--being trapped---under tons upon tons of rock.



The village itself boasts 220 full time residents, including this lady above who I found LOTS of information on including here.  I also watched a documentary by a local school teacher who has lived there for years.  It is an interesting life--and it attracts all kinds.



This building and another multi-story abandoned army base watch over the small village.  It seems 80% of the village residents live in these condo's.  A system of tunnels connects this building to the school, but all things necessary for day to day life are in the building.  



After the bustle of the tourist season is over, Whittier settles in and prepares for Winter.  With snow that would bury the first few floors of the condo building and winds purported to reach 150 mph---living in Whittier is NOT for the faint of heart.

It takes a special breed--a modern day pioneer to live here.  Anchorage is over an hour away and the tunnel is only open during certain hours of the day.  Once those doors In the tunnel close---you are stuck--unless you brave the trek over the mountains or a sail upon the trashing waves in the sound---Whittier is where you will stay.  With 20-22 hours of dark during the winter--you are behind closed doors and hunkered down until the long sleep of winter ends.

I must admit---this has a certain attraction for me---cave dwelling at its finest.  THEN I remember --I do not do well when the sun does not shine for extended periods---in TEXAS!  There is always hope here that the rain will stop and the sun will shine again here.  There is a sure and certain knowledge while living in Whittier it will be dark---A LOT!  Those LONG days of daylight during the short lived summers are not enough for me to overcome the deep dark of the everlasting winter.  I will continue to take my chances in Texas.

Many choose to live in the dark even here in Texas.  Why, in fact, those dark dwellers are all over the world.  Those of us who know the path to the light are charged with being guides.  Guiding those who have lived in the dark to the Bright Light of the Son.  We hold the keys to the door to the short tunnel to the light- while those in the dark--wait---for an invitation to the light.  

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoeverfollows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12


4 comments:

  1. That is so neat you visited an area that is on one of my Alaskan TV shows. I had no idea about the tunnels though, pretty cool and I agree, not for the faint of heart. Thanks Lulu, I have enjoyed your vacation and meeting of your friends. Blessings

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    1. At least one more day, Linda, before I am done. My wish for you is that you will also someday visit this beautiful part of our country.
      Blessings, Friend!

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  2. I thought it was always snowing in Alaska? Oh, just seems that way. :) There are one way tunnels in Hawai'i too but the ones we took where on the side of a mountain. YIPES! I was so thankful to get off that road. Great analogy about the tunnels. I talk to tunnel dwellers everywhere. I think most people enjoy being deceived as long as they aren't inconvenienced with too much thinking. Hope your day is blessed. ~:)

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    1. GREAT comment, Sparky! I have been to Hawaii but missed the one way tunnels! The road to Hana--just about did me in!
      Blessings, Friend!

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Your comments keep my writing and often cause me to think. A written form of a hug or a pat on the back and an occasional slap into reality---I treasure them all!