Friday, July 11, 2014

Valdez - glaciers, water, boats

Valdez is situated in a fjord among the Chugach mountains, along Prince William Sound. The town was established in 1897 as a port of entry for gold seekers making their was to the gold fields in the Klondike. Originally, the town was located about 4 miles east of it's present location, but on March 27, 1964, the town was destroyed by a 9.2 earthquake. Massive underwater landslides took the lives of 33 people as they were standing on a pier. After the earthquake the town was relocated. Across Prince William sound the termination of the oil pipeline can be seen. There oil is either stored or loaded onto ships. The economy here depends on oil, fishing, and tourism. It has rained the entire four days I've been here, but the scenery is still wonderful. Valdez gets on average 27 feet of snow per year. 27 feet!

The giant Fish sign

This building houses a pizza restaurant called "No Name Pizza" - gotta love it! According to a city official I met at the Indian statue (he was eating his lunch) the buildings in Valdez are constructed in a way that makes repair easier after a harsh winter. Many buildings are similar to this one.

A wooden sculpture in the center of town.

The following photos were all taken from my campsite. What a great location!

Some fishing boats go out at night, and some in the morning. These two boats were passing each other in the early evening. This is my favorite boat photo.

Beth, a friend on the womenrv website (it's actually her site) worked on this boat, Lu Lu Belle, for three years. She's a very pretty boat, and I'm sure the crew all misses Beth!

If you look very closely, you can see drying racks for fish, with a fire set up in the center.

Across the sound you can see the end of the alaska pipeline.

At last, a few minutes of sun on the harbor! You can see the Valdez Glacier in the background.

Last night I unhooked the RV and drove over to the fish hatchery to see if any bears were there. Several other campers had talked about a grizzly bear that frequents the hatchery around 10 pm, to catch salmon that missed the exit into the hatchery. They are easy prey for a bear. It was pouring rain and I wasn't feeling too chipper so I only took a few photos and then retreated to the RV. By the way, these photos were taken at 10:15 pm on a rainy overcast day - see how light it is!

Tomorrow I leave Valdez, for parts unknown!

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