Pin It
Favorite

Klamath Whales 

For the first summer in their 60-year-plus residency, Trees of Mystery’s Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox were overshadowed on their stretch of Highway 101 by another -- albeit unintentional -- tourist trapping duo.

The mama gray whale and calf that conveniently occupied a stretch of the Klamath River underneath the 101 bridge earlier this year gained national attention and gave thousands of often accidental whale watchers an experience that may conceivably never be replicated.

For 53 days from late June to mid August, the unusual cetacean infestation was a spectacle you could have easily sold tickets to (and some tried). With the warm summer sun above, mama and baby continually and captivatingly swam side-by-side back and forth under the bridge while onlookers ran from one side to the other, all the while dodging peak-tourist season traffic, so as not to miss a moment of cute. Countless pictures were snapped. Poems and songs were written. One dude waded out into the river with a violin to perform a solo concert for mama.

It was an unforgettable period, for sure.

This story, of course, has a less than adorable ending. While the younger gray whale eventually found its way back out to more suitable digs, mama seemed determined to languish in the Klamath. Human intervention intended to drive her back to the ocean -- fire hoses, pipe-banging, killer whale sound recordings, etc. -- had no effect. This was the spot.

After weeks of deteriorating health, mama whale came to rest in (human) waist-deep water just downstream from the bridge. At around 4 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 16, she died.

-- Andrew Goff

Pin It
Favorite

Tags: ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

About The Author

Andrew Goff

more from the author

Latest in News

  • Summer of Fun 2021

    • May 13, 2021
  • Rags to Riches

    A 'shipping issue' led to a scramble to find vaccine, ultimately leaving Humboldt with a surplus
    • May 13, 2021
  • Crisis on the Klamath

    With too little water to go around, the fighting has begun in a zero-sum game pitting farmers against fish and endangered species against one another
    • May 6, 2021
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • 'A Brady Cop'

    Tensions escalate between Willits police chief and district attorney over hiring of EPD officer
    • Oct 17, 2019
  • The Island's Return

    The unprecedented repatriation of the center of the Wiyot universe
    • Oct 24, 2019

socialize

Facebook | Twitter

© 2021 North Coast Journal

Website powered by Foundation