Sunday, January 10, 2010


Yesterday (January 9), we experienced an earthquake which registered 6.5 on the Richter Scale. I was in the parking area behind the BLM office and heard what sounded like the approach of a huge, oversize semi-truck. Suddenly, everything began to shake like I was walking on jello. The vehicles moved back and forth and the office building was shaking like a leaf.

As quickly as it started, it stopped. I jumped in my vehicle and raced home to make sure Susanna was ok. A tsunami watch was issued, which was especially nerve-racking because Susanna was currently on her way home from Redwood NP, a drive which takes her right along the ocean. Based on the time, I calculated that she was probably just north of McKinleyville along an area called Clam Beach (which happens to be just barely above sea level). Cell phones wouldn't work because of damage to the towers. Electricity was out all over the area. Susanna wasn't there when I arrived home, so I immediately turned around to drive north and find her. Fortunately, moments later Susanna pulled into the driveway, not having felt the earthquake at all! After a short search, we determined that we had no damage to our house. Thank you God!

All in all, the north coast fared quite well with this earthquake. There were a lot of minor injuries that people reported from falling glass and debris, but nothing major. Many buildings had minor damage and some stores had a lot of damage from items falling off of shelves. I heard that the wine aisle at one of the grocery stores was an absolute mess! But, fortunately, material items can always be replaced. To my knowledge, there has been no fatalities.

We enjoyed the evening with a simple meal cooked on our backcountry stove. We ate by candlelight, then went for a walk to the ocean. The electricity was restored by 9 pm and life is returning back to normal.


  1. I love the pic! We have not lost electricity often, but it's always comforting to know that we have other ways to cook and provide light.

  2. We had a 5.something quake here about a year ago (I'm snuggly situated a few hours from the New Madrid fault area). It hit really early in the morning. I sat up and looked at my two dogs laying on the floor. They lifted their heads and looked up at me as if to say, "Well, if mom isn't getting up then I sure as hell won't." I later heard of others' pets going bonkers from the shaking. I guess my dogs just don't care so long as they get their breakfast in the morning.
    I remember thinking during the quake that I was glad I hung all of my pictures with two frame hooks and put little picture frame pads on the back of the frames. You know what they say...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  3. It appears that you not only had emergency equipment but knew where to find it. All of your camping experience paid off, and you even got to sleep that night in something a whole better than a tent.

    I've always wondered what it would feel like to stand on ground that's moving, but that doesn't mean I actually want to experience it. I think I'd have a hard time accepting the reality of that which has always been firm and staying in place, moving around uncontrollably.