National Geographic : 1964 Jul
floated back into port, reversed, streaked out once more and back, and came to rest at last, as one fisherman put it, "only a couple hun dred yards from her mooring." I never found anyone who would swear to the story, but from the look of Kraft's that day on the beach, I could believe she had been to sea. Kodiak's story was widely reported, and offers of help poured in from the "Lower 48," as Alaskans fondly call the other mainland states. One letter came from the manufactur er of Kodiak's parking meters. The president graciously offered free replacements. "Thanks for your kind letter about the me ters," the city manager promptly wrote back. "How about a few streets and sidewalks to go with them?" Kodiak town was far from the only segment of Kodiak Island life to take the earthquake hard. Alf Madsen, a hunting guide, described the back areas. "Around the lairs where the big Kodiak bears had been hibernating," he said, "the tracks showed the animals were troubled. Usually when a bear leaves hibernation, his tracks meander, like he was still getting the sleep out of his head. This time those tracks went straight as an arrow downhill, with a lot of big leaps in between. Those bears woke up in a hurry." By an eerie coincidence, down the coast Pall of disaster funnels skyward from still-blazing fuel tanks in Seward one day after the earthquake. All dockside facilities have vanished, swept away by the tsunamis.