Sunday, August 8, 2010

Valdez, Alaska

Dick fixing one of our favorite meals. Salmon on the grill. Look no winter coat. We had a day of sunshine in Valdez...This area is surrounded by the Chugach Mountains, the tallest coastal mountains in North America, rising from seal level to an elevation of 7,000 feet.

We cruise in the 55 foot LuLuBelle for a 7 hour trip through Prince William Sound, one of the most spectacular and unspoiled wildernesses in the world. Through the many fjords of the Chugach National Forest, we observed fishermen at work, the terminal of the TransAlaska Oil Pipe Line, glaciers, ice fields and many sea animals.

Valdez has 5 accessible glaciers: the Columbia, Meares, Worthington, Shoup and Valdez. This is the Columbia glacier, the second largest tidewater glacier in North America and largest in Prince William Sound. It is close to a mile wide and rises 300 ft from the waterline.

You get the picture. We're having a great time.

Average summer temp in Valdez is 53 degrees. Today, its much colder with the wind off the glacier.

Our fascination with sea otters is rewarded with this group of 23
little guys swimming together.

Can't resist one more pic.

Our boat in the middle of the icefields as as we go around Glacier Island. Glad that Captain Fred Rudolf has over 30 years of exploring these waters. He got us home safe.

These huge chunks of very blue ice surround us.

The ice fields were so thick with floating masses. Amazing trip through these waters.

Our hike to Worthington Glacier was well rewarded with beautiful views.

A researcher fires up a water drill to bore a hole into the Worthington glacier . A camera is placed in the bedrock to discover the effect of temperatures on ice slides.

Mount Drum is part of the Wrangell Mountain Range and is located between Valdez and Copper Center.

We're in Tok, Alaska. We're fortunate they have a RV repair with a welder. The plate holding our RV tow bar to our jeep broke through. Thank goodness Dick is so observant and recognized the jeep swaying and got us to a stop. Otherwise, the jeep could have beat us down the hill. All repaired and on the road again headed to Haines. Life is good.

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