Sunday, October 4, 2009

On the road to Valdez, Alaska, the Worthington glacier is immediately roadside as you climb into Thompson pass on the Richardson highway.
Snowfall in the pass must be extreme, judging by the height of the marker posts along the road.
Over the pass you begin the long descent to the coast.
There are many glaciers and waterfalls that can be seen from this route.

Finally, the port of Valdez, named after a Spanish explorer in 1790 became a town because of deception from steamship lines at the time of the gold rush. They promoted it as a faster easier way to the gold fields, but in fact it was twice as long and steep as promised. Many gold seekers perished on the route as a result.
There was a viewing platform for watching the fish spawn at the edge of town.

Video of spawning fish.

Of course, Valdez is probably most infamous for the oil spill of the Exxon Valdez, which hit a reef on March 24, 1989, eventually covering 11 million square miles of ocean with crude oil.We did not go out looking for any signs of this environmental tragedy, although I'm sure some of the effects will be felt for decades to come.
It was an overcast day, but we checked out the towns bakeries, grocery stores, museums, and of course filled up with fuel.

View of the town from a hill between the harbour and the town.
We did check out the price of taking the ferry to Whittier, the the price was over $300 for the truck and two of us. I presume the cat would ride free.
Next, retracing our route back to Copper Center and Glenallen.

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