We arrived in Valdez, Alaska at 3:45pm after a 367 miles of gold Birch trees, Evergreens, Scotch Pines, Snow capped Mountains, painted color collage landscapes and waterfalls galore. So, lets start at the beginning of the day.
We left Fairbanks on a four lane Highway 2 that quickly turned into a two lane bumpy black top. We passed North Pole, Alaska and decided not to stop because we figured Santa and Mrs. Claus were having their morning coffee and Sant’s elves looked too busy to greet visitors. Highway 2 merged to Highway 4 and by the time we passed Eilison Airforce Base we were dodging highway potholes. Apparently, Alaska doesn’t invest too much in the highway systems. In the 300 plus miles we encountered one road crew working on a Sunday that shut down traffic for 15 minutes. We did find 12 miles of newly paved blacktop but that was it. One blessing, however, was we saw on semi-trailer truck the entire day.
The scenery is so spectacular but difficult to describe. Summit Lake, Paxson Lake, Keystone Canyon, Thompson Pass, and the Wrangell Mountains were among the best sights. Then, of course, there were the Horsetail Waterfalls (photo below) and Bridal Veil waterfalls which were the best among the many lesser sized waterfalls along the way. We also stopped near Worthington Glacier but we couldn’t get close enough for a good picture in the heavy rainfall. Now we are resting in our hotel near the Valdez Harbor and looking forward to tomorrow. Valdez is situated in a majestic fjord, where the 5000 foot tall Chugach Mountains rise from Prince William Sound. Valdez is often called Alaska’s “Little Switzerland” a perfect place for campers and hikers. We cant wait to explore all day tomorrow..