ALASKAN PANORAMAS-KATMAI TO PRUDHOE BAY
Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes
A place I had to see before I died. It is new earth void of past civilization formed by a volcano: it was an episode that, millions of years from now, will show in the rock layers of the earth. When Katmai blew, seven years passed before an expedition could be sent in to see what had happened. When they arrived on the edge overlooking the 40 mile across valley, it was still smoking and thus, they called it The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, though they recorded that there were millions of smokes.
The explosion of Katmai lowered the temperature of the earth for two years, but not one life was lost.
During their exploration, they cooked their meals over fumeroles still red hot. A crater, one mile deep is left where the mountain once was and it has filled to become a new lake on the earth. Three rivers have formed that flow through the valley. Volcanic rocks float on Naknek Lake.
Katmai blew in 1912. In 1917 Robert F. Griggs led the National Geographic Society's Expedition to document what had happened. I quote his words about the magnitude:
THE FOLLOWING PAGES OF PANORAMIC PHOTOGRAPHS BEGIN WITH KATMAI AND END AT PRUDHOE BAY