Most people know Valdez because of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. But this was not Valdez's first brush with disaster -- the town was severely damaged in the 1964 earthquake that devastated Alaska, and was eventually moved 4 miles away (to its current location) because the ground here is more stable. The original town sat on what is gravelly glacial run off, and when the shaking started the loose soil made the damage much more severe.
Oddly, both disasters happened on Good Friday, exactly 25 years apart. I'm sure Friday, April 18, 2014 will be a "hold your breath day" in Valdez.
The museum has a model of the original town:pareidolia, a phenomenon that happens because our brains try very hard to make "something," especially faces, out of random patterns.
Next blog: The Columbia Glacier