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Tonight (well tomorrow morning really) at 1:42 am (Pacific Time) is the 100th anniversary of the avalanche disaster at Wellington. For those of you who have experienced Wellington with me via my blogs here, my articles in the magazine and my posts in the forum, you know how much Wellington has come to mean to me. I think maybe it has come to mean a lot to many of you, as well.
After nine days stuck on two trains in the mountain town of Wellington, passengers were growing increasingly desperate to get home. Meanwhile, the railway employees were waging a valiant battle to free the trains before disaster struck. They were unable to do so.
At 1:42 a.m. on March 1, 1910, a lightning strike released the snow on a slope above the two trains, which were perched on tracks above a ravine. A half mile long avalanche descended on the trains, sweeping them into the ravine. At least 96 people died in what remains, to this day, the worst avalanche disaster in the history of the United States.
Many remain at Wellington – ghosts of passengers and townspeople alike. Whether they were killed in the avalanche or witnessed the slow death of their town following that tragedy, in spirit they are drawn to the site. I know. I have seen them. I have heard them. I have felt them. I have interacted with them.
I am not a praying person, but I know that at 1:42 a.m. late tonight (early tomorrow morning), I will be with them. If you have come to love them as I have and you happen to be awake in that moment, please say a prayer, think a thought – whatever it is that you do to connect.
100 years later they remain, forgotten by many. I have not forgotten and I know many of you haven’t as well. Please hold them in your hearts and honor their memories if you are so inclined. Perhaps if you do, they will feel you and be comforted. Perhaps they will know that they are not forgotten.
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