Our parakeet lived in a cage that hung from a floor stand. Our cat enjoyed bumping the pole to make the cage rock and the bird squawk.
One night in August of 1959 my brother and I were awakened by shrieking from our bird. His cage was swinging, but no cat was there to take the blame. The next morning we learned of a massive earthquake in the
area about 300 miles away. Yellowstone Park
(news photo of a highway in the quake zone)
The quake measured 7.6 on the Richter scale.
It was said to be the largest known earthquake
ever to hit the
in recorded history. United States
Fast forward (ahem) several decades.
On our return home from West Yellowstone, Montana,
DH took the route past Hebgen
so he could check out the formation of ice on the water.
Fishermen are peculiar, but aren’t we all in our own way.
Not far down the highway is another lake called
. It was created that night in August when the
earth shook and big hunk of of Quake Lake
broke loose Sheep Mountain
and swept across the narrow valley,
filling the canyon and damming the
The face of the mountain is still void of most vegetation.
Trunks of trees that once grew high above the river
can still be seen rising out of the water of
. Quake Lake
Several groups camping along the river were buried so deep that no attempt was made to find them. Twenty-eight, (give or take two or three depending on how they are counted) people lost their lives in the 1959 Yellowstone Earthquake.
A visitor’s center is built on the dirt and rocks deposited by the landslide. Near the building is a huge rock that bears a plate with information and a memorial to those who lost their lives in the catastrophe.
The area still shakes with earthquake tremors. DH tells of standing on the ice of
trying to catch fish when the low rumble of seismic activity rolls across the
valley and the ice cracks and rattles. Hebgen Lake