On the road to Valdez, AK

Trip Start Aug 16, 2008
1
5
14
Trip End Aug 29, 2008


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow
Where I stayed
Best Western

Flag of United States  , Alaska
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It was a good evening in Chickaloon.  It's very quiet and serene here in the woodlands.  We are expecting someone to come and "rustle up some grub" for our morning breakfast.  We were told to expect some type of egg casserole, fresh fruit, juice and toast. 

Just as an FYI, we now have learned to load our pics, so we will be loading more now for your viewing pleasure. 
We'll be on our way to the city of Valdez.  It looks like it will be a gorgeous day, once again.  As many of you know Valdez is where the giant oil spill occurred back in the 80's.  While the oil didn't mess up the city's shoreline, it wreaked havoc on the coastline down stream.  More on that later.

So... back to breakfast at B&B which was made for us by Diane, who was very knowledgeable about Alaska etc....  She was orginally from New Jersey, transplanted to Cedar Rapids, Iowa and retired to Chickaloon.  She was really interesting to talk to regarding how the Alaskans feel about global warming and exploration of oil again in their state.  She is not opposed to more exploration, but she does not trust "big business."

Ron saw a fox on the airstrip which separated our guest house from the owners house across the way.  The owner of our B&B owns three planes, which he keeps on his property.  
 
We then left on our journey to Valdez, AK -- as many of you will remember -- suffered much harm from the oil spill from a tanker owned by Exxon.  Although the harbor was an environmental disaster, it appears that they have recovered, although we were told there is still oil lingering in the rocks along the shoreline.
 
Stopped at the Long Rifle Lodge - many heads and bodies of animals were displayed -- it was very sad -- but we did not pass up this photo opt as you'll see later.  The gas station there had only one pump (not digital) and was selling for $4.50/gallon.  Who would think that gas would be sooo.... expensive in the state which produces it.  I was told though that they ship the oil to another place to be refined, so that's the reason for the outrageous prices.  But everything in Alaska is expensive, i.e. food, clothing, housing.  The one thing you don't pay is sales tax, so that's a good thing.
 
We had  lunch at the Princess Lodge located at Copper Landing AK.  This is a lodge owned by the Pricess Cruise Line.  It was very nice, with a great view of the Wrangell St. Elias Mountains.  There were no tours at the time so we had the restaurant to ourselves.

The scenery along the way was breath-taking.  The mountains were snow-capped, and waterfalls were plentiful.  We stopped along the way at the Worthington Glacier.  This glacier is said to be the most visited site in the Copper River Basin, with an elevation of 6,134 ft.  There was a warning not to approach the glacier, but my brother Ron has a problem with authority,  and it was his desire to touch the glacier.  To say the least we were really scared that he would fall on his recently healed shoulder he injured when he fell on the ice, no less, this past winter and tore his rotator cuff.  But nothing would remain in his way to conquer the "Worthington Beast" as he called it.  He even took pictures of himself at the moment of his glory when touching the ice.  WOW!!!
 
We then resumed our journey passing the Bridal and Horseshoe Falls, which were very beautifal falls from the mountain tops.  Our journey to Valdez was almost complete.  We arrived at our hotel, "The Best Western" located on the Valdez harbor.  You wouldn't believe all the fishing boats in the harbor, unloading their "sea food catch" of the day.  

After checking in with Emily, the person at the front desk, we asked where we could see some bear.  We can't leave Alaska without a bear sighting - that's for sure.  She gave us a map, and showed us where the best possible viewing would be, which was near a place where the salmon spawn and run.  We found it, and we saw hundreds of salmon swimming down this stream - some would be dead at the bottom of this run, floating around, and hundreds would be swimming at the bottom as well.  This was exciting, but alas NOOOOO!!!! BEARS.

It was dinner time, and off to a local restaurant called Mike's Palace, a small diner with good food and prices.  It specialized in just about any food ranging from Greek, Italian and a lot of fish of course.  Ady and I had the halibut, which was great, Nancy had the shrimp which she enjoyed and the guys had pizza.  
 
Well it's getting late, and the morning will be here before you know it.  We're off to the Alaskan Ferry system for a trip from Valdez to Whittier.  It will take us, as well as our minivan, to our destination across the Prince William Sound.  Then it's onward to Seward, which is supposed to be the center for the Kenai Fjords National Park.

Sorry I didn't have time nor the energy to load our pics - later......
Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

ronisamoron
ronisamoron on

Thanks for the updates.
Thanks for letting us tag along on your trip. It sounds like a lot of fun. Bring me back a t-shirt (something cool looking)(please)or some reindeer sausage. Please tell us about the places you eat. Some of us will never get there and we like to know where you go. Olympic Update: Phelps just won his 53rd gold medal.
Matt

jwagner0726
jwagner0726 on

Hello
Sounds like you are having a great time. Everyone looks brave around the stuffed bears...I hope that you are able to see a real one soon!

Add Comment

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: