National Geographic : 1963 Jun
Lonely Wonders of Katmai lagoons; its sharp, cloud-draped peaks; its glaciers curving like wide turnpikes through the mountains; its deep valleys and snug harbors-all these were remote and rarely viewed by the tourist. When I heard about the attractions along Shelikof Strait, I felt a pang. I would be un able to see them, for my time in Katmai was nearly spent. But Win and Mitzi Parks and Bob Jordan promised to tour the area and give me a report. They chartered an airplane that night, arranging for it by radio. The next noon they took off in Ed Seiler's four-place floatplane. The first thing they noted, they told me later, was the way the spruce woodland ab ruptly gave way to open tundra, a hodgepodge of green and brown rock-pitted hills. This was the meeting of two different life zones: the Arctic, characterized by the tundra, and the Hudsonian, with its white spruce forest. Soon the shafts and peaks of the Aleutian Range became distinct-snow-capped moun tains without names; lakes at the foot of some of them, moose standing in one or two of the lakes. Then Shelikof Strait appeared on the horizon and, far beyond, the hazy form of Kodiak Island. "Want to see sea lions?" Ed Seiler asked. He circled some small brown islands just off the coast, and the rocks changed to a lighter color as the brown animals covering them leaped into the safety of the sea (pages 824-5). They were cruising along the southeast boundary of the monument now, and Katmai Bay came into view. Here was the six-mile wide flood plain of the Katmai River. One of the greatest torrents of all time had poured into the sea over this plain. During the birth of the Valley of Ten Thou sand Smokes, part of Mount Katmai fell into the canyon at its foot, damming the Katmai Solo bather, Senator Gruening enjoys Lake Brooks. He estimated its temperature at 60° KODACHROMEBY NATIONALGEOGRAPHICPHOTOGRAPHERWINFIELD PARKS 829 N.G.S.