Valdez, Alaska

Day 726

     In traveling from Glenallen to Valdez, we stopped to view a glacier

     and a waterfalls

     The port of Valdez was named in 1790 by the Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo after the Spanish naval officer Antonio Valdés y Fernández Bazán. A scam to lure prospectors off the Klondike Gold Rush trail led to the town being developed there in 1898.

     Some steamship companies promoted the Valdez Glacier Trail as a better route for miners to reach the Klondike gold fields than that from Skagway. The prospectors who believed the promotion found that they had been deceived. The glacier trail was twice as long and steep as reported, and many men died attempting the crossing. The deception was promoted because the steamship companies where returning to Valdez empty from delivering their fish from the port.

     Finding themselves stranded in Valdez, they settled there. However the town did not flourish until after the construction of the Richardson Highway in 1899, which connected Valdez and Fairbanks. With a new road and its ice-free port, Valdez became permanently established as the first overland supply route into the interior of Alaska. This was further enhanced when Valdez found itself the terminus of the Alaskan Pipeline.

     The Valdez fire department had a unique tribute to 9-11

     We went to Valdez Port to board a catamaran to take us to the Meares Glacier, which is on the Prince William Sound.

     Barbara was an able pilot

     On the way we saw eagles


     Sea lions

     Sea Otters

     Some of them brought their kids along


     In fact, lots of seals


     Pigeon Guillemot

     You are probably impressed that I can name these birds. Actually, I have a book, Birds of North America, that helps me. 

     I am glad we are not the Titanic

    We saw whales, both humpback

     and orca

    The glacier is named for eighteenth century British naval captain John Meares.

     Meares Glacier is over a mile wide where it meets Prince William Sound.

     Tidbit of Information: There are over 100,000 glaciers in Alaska, only 800 have names. 

     Valdez is the terminus of the Alaska Pipeline

     Oil tankers come in and go out each day

     I am just a shadow of my former self

Technical Stuff:

Glenallen, Alaska to Valdez, Alaska: 117.3 miles

2 hours 48 minutes

10.1 MPG

Diesel: $3.30

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