Sunday, August 23, 2015

Adak Alaska, Some Photographs

Gretchen and I spent a week on Adak Island. Here are some photographs. I hope to share stories and additional photographs in a few weeks.

There are two flights a week to Adak Island--Thursday and Sunday. It's about a three hour flight from Anchorage, Alaska, on a 737-400 "Combi." 

Adak was for many decades, from World War Two, until the end of the Cold War, a Naval Air Station as well as an early warning site. I don't know what percentage of the houses in the above photograph are inhabited, but I would guess maybe 10%. Currently about 100 people live on the island. At its peak over 6,000 thousand sailors and seamen, pilots, and their families lived on Adak. 

Our hosts treated us to smoked salmon our first night visiting, a very plentiful fish caught in the open ocean as well as swimming up the creeks trickling from the islands hills. 

When the base shutdown and the Navy left in 1997, most of the structures became open spaces to explore. Many places are marked "Do Not Enter" due to asbestos construction still present. Some places, like the newer chapel were boarded up and restricted, but most of the barracks, housing complexes, schools, hangers, galleys, rec centers, armories, fallout shelters, and work depos were left open to explore.

In the last ice age all of the trees were scoured from the island, leaving it covered in a variety of grasses, but then in the 60's the Navy decided to try growing a couple evergreens to boost morale.

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