On the oddity of Alaska

“On his head was a brown Stetson—the only Stetson I've seen that was made of hard plastic. It had a crack in it that was patched with grout. He said the horsepower of a D9 Cat was about half the horsepower he had coming out of that hose—look out, you could burn your fingers on the water. To be burned by water seemed irresistible. I put my fingers on the solid ice-cold projectiling cylinder a few inches out from the nozzle tip, and pulled them away in an instant, burned.”

John McPhee, Coming into the Country