4th of July, 2008 Ocean Falls (storm day)

Well, here we are in the mostly-abandoned town of Ocean Falls.  There used to be over 5,000 people living here, and today there are only 35.  It’s a ghost town to the extreme.  Imagine what a city would look like 30 years after the downfall of human civilization, and there you have Ocean Falls.  Fire department, courthouse, 5 story hotels, and grocery stores–all abandoned and trapped in time.  The bridge across the inlet to the old mill collapsed last week.  Behind town is a massive hydro-electric dam which still supplies power to the surrounding communities.  The waterfall is gigantic and very impressive, draining from 18 mile-long Link Lake above.  Colleen and I are spending the day here in the rain, waiting out a spell of bad weather.  It is a luxury to be tied to the dock with the heaters blasting.  Most of Ocean Falls’ inhabitants have built a small community one mile or so from the main ruins.   We walked there to find Audrie’s plants, to buy some vegetables.  Audrey was in her greenhouse, tending a very impressive garden.  She’d electrified the perimeter and fenced it off in wire mesh to keep the bears out.  We were surprised to learn that none of the locals buy any vegetables from her.  We got many great veggies and are enjoying fresh salads with every meal!  We’ve been talking to many people here at the docks.  I couldn’t believe the power boaters talking about their fuel consumption.  “Oh, we do really good, we get about 1.35 miles to the gallon, going about 25 knots.”  My God.  I don’t care how fast your boat goes, 1.35 miles to the gallon???  And that was a small boat too!

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