Wednesday, August 11, 2010

St Paul Feeling

Enough of the cold sterile facts of the location... what is St Paul really like?

Fog hugs the cliff tops, coating everything with its fine mist. The shoreline is dotted with bright red floats broken away from errant crab pots. Here and there the skeletons of ships lost remind captains to take care and remain vigilant against the weather and rough conditions of the Bering Sea. The high wind whips up the minerals in the surf to a thick froth breaking into pieces that float over rocks and up cliff faces. Wildflowers and lichen paint the landscape with vibrant purple, blue and gold. Distant growls and belches from the fur seal colony can be heard mixing with the plaintiff call of the kittiwakes. The wind burns your cheeks as you sit on the edge of the cliffs watching and waiting.

The town itself, while small, is alive with color and texture and a rich maritime history. Children play carefree in the streets as family cats look on from the safety of the front porch. The cats dare not wander far because the winters are harsh, they wouldn't be able to survive if they turned feral. Dogs are not allowed on the island for fear of spreading distemper to the fur seals so arctic fox take up residence under garages and inside cars and trucks stripped and abandon after a lifetime of service. The Russian Orthodox Church stands guard at the center of town and the small grocery store is a central hub for the latest gossip on the island.

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