Sunday, July 24, 2011
Until 2000, the Prince William Sound village of Whittier could only be reached by boat or railroad train. The 2 1/2 mile railroad tunnel through the mountain was modified to share automobile traffic with train traffic. It is a single lane and so vehicles must wait at either end for their turn to use the tunnel. There is a $12 toll. We waited about 30 minutes for the chance to drive the tunnel.
It takes about 6 minutes to drive the full length of the tunnel and I must admit I found it kind of creepy - it felt very confined. As we were driving through - I remembered we had just heard there had been an earthquake in nearby Anchorage earlier in the day. Whittier used to be a military base - and they built several large buildings for their operation.
The building (below) is the abandoned military building. This is sort of creepy, also. The windows are mostly broken and it has been vandalized. It is kind of a blight on a beautiful landscape.
This is a pretty little town, in spite of the abandoned military base. It seemed to be bustling with activity while we were there.