Saturday, March 1, 2014

March 1, 2014: Violence

Jutting out from under a giant charred fir log is an inverted queen post.  It tells the story of the final moments of one of the passenger cars swept away 104 years ago this past night by the giant Wellington Avalanche.  At 1:42 AM a wall of moving snow struck the two trains of which this car was a part.  The force tripped the car sideways off the track and began to roll it down the steep embankment. As it rolled it turned 90 degrees ending up sliding upside down further down the mountainside. By now, the windows had been blown out and shattered.  The wood sides were being crushed and ripped from the frame as was the interior. Parts of the steel framing were being torn, bent then scattered all the way to the bottom of the canyon. Somewhere within that mass of snow this log was being propelled.  It scraped across the bottom of the inverted car tearing off the steam and air pipes along with this queen post. When the log came to an abrupt halt ramming a stump, the pipes it was dragging wrapped around yet another stump like pieces of limp pasta. 

Within minutes, it was over.

The pipes bent around the stump and this queen post remain as a grim reminder.  If forged steel and  bolted on wood were so quickly mangled and destroyed, how much more violent an end came to the mere flesh and bone sleeping within this car?

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