Growing up on the Cook Inlet, there were many things we took for granted. Fishing was always around us. We ate fish caught off the spit, we devoured shrimp caught in the inlet, we worked in canneries harvesting salmon, and the gulls and eagles fought over the carrion. Oil refineries sprang up like mushrooms balancing over the waters on long stems. They gave those of us on the Kenai a new outlook on life. No longer were kids tied to seasonal fishing.There was a future full of new ideas and opportunities. The water and mountains surrounded us in our safe world on the Inlet. Yeah, those mountains were really volcanoes and earthquakes happened every so often, but those were insignificant compared to the life we lived.
Today, oil production still exists, but at a less rapid pace. Now, people are wondering how long their jobs on the platforms will last. They wonder if there will be a place for their skills in the world they are seeing appear. Fishing has also changed. Canneries no longer line the Spur hiway, running 24/7 during the peak of the season. I look at the places I used to work and wonder how kids today earn their money for college.
But, the blessing I found??? The Inlet is still the same. The bones of the volcanic ring of fire stand strong across the bay. The tides continue to wash back and forth along the gravel and sand beaches. Man makes a mark on the Inlet in a million ways. The Inlet prevails. How awesome is that????