Saturday, September 16, 2017

Friday, September 15, 2017 - Glennallen to Valdez, AK

Stars were shining most of the night, but by morning it was misting and cloudy.  What do we do?  At one point, we decided to abandon our idea of going to Valdez, giving us more time to spend in British Columbia on the way home.  

However, after breakfast, we felt the weather was showing signs of the clouds lifting, so we decided to give Valdez a try. 

The clouds remained at mountaintop level most of the time. Below the clouds, it was clear, and the sun was shining through whenever possible.  The fall colors were brilliant, especially where the sun shone.  There are several glaciers along this route that we were able to enjoy, as well as beautiful Thompson Pass and Keystone Canyon, as you drop into Valdez. 

The waterfalls coming down the mountainsides are beautiful - some are small and some are large. Along the road there is Bridal Veil Falls and Horsetail Falls.

We arrived in Valdez and found a B&B located on a lovely lake. Valdez is surrounded with mountains, snowcapped mountains, but to keep up with the changing cloud formations today, you had to take a photo every 5 minute. 
A Hanging Glacier

More of the beautiful Tundra colors

We went to the fish hatchery as well as a salmon viewing location.  The salmon are spawning and there are many in the rivers, but there were no bears anywhere.  The life cycle of a salmon is extremely interesting.  There are dead fish everywhere, in fact, it stinks! Their life work is over!  The waters around Valdez are tidal, so when the tides go out, the fish that have died, are just lying on the tidal flats. You know the smell of dead fish!!                                    
Another Hanging Glacier


Keystone Canyon

Bridal Water Falls 

Horse Tail Water Falls

Valdez Harbor

Fish Spawning

Our B&B for the night

Seal near the fish hatchery

Sea Lions

Before dinner we returned to the viewing location and actually, waited there for 30 minutes, but again no bears.  They probably came after we left!! We saw numerous bald eagles, both mature and immature.  If you don’t see them flying, just look in the pine trees for golf balls! 

For dinner, we went to the Fat Mermaid on Main Street. Afterwards we returned to the fish hatchery, still no bears.  It was beginning to rain, so we returned to the B&B for the rest of the evening. 

We are not sure what we will do tomorrow – depends on the weather. But we are glad we made the decision to come to Valdez.  

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