We arrived at our hotel at SeaTec a little after mid-night. Then, we left Seattle for Anacortes via the airport shuttle at 10:00am. For the last few days have been showing mild cold-like symptoms. By the time we arrived in Anacortes we thought it was time to get tested for Covid. As the picture above is a giveaway we tested positive.
Most of the past several days we are quarantined on Guemes Island. So, I’m not feeling sorry for us. This is a good place for R&R. On Saturday we drove over to Anacortes for Teo’s soccer game and then stayed for Amya’s game. We had nice visit with Kelly and Brian Saturday. Emily stayed on after her ferry shift to visit with us from 10 feet away in a masked conversation. That was nice of her Then, Sunday we visited with Kerry and Kris. We have seen the grandkids from a distance. Although this is not an ideal situation it could be far worse. The good news is that Sandy and I both had mild cases of Covid with cold-like symptoms. We are both kind of over it.
By this weekend we should back to normal. We will be here for eight more days before boarding an airplane so, we will be contagious free by then.
It was raining when we arrived in Valdez Saturday night, it continued to rain all day Sunday (except for five minutes), and when we departed early Monday morning it was still raining. The woman at the desk said it had been raining non-stop for two months. I don’t think she was exaggerating. After about an hour the heavy rain changed to a drizzle and eventually it stopped. We actually saw a bit of blue sky and sunshine.
Richardson Highway, the one we drove from Fairbanks to Valdez, is rated as one of the most scenic highways in America. Sandy and I think the sixty miles of Glen Highway that we drove today is just as good. In fact, parts of what we saw today we rate as the most beautiful views we have ever seen. As far as you can see for mile after mile we viewed snow capped mountains, low hanging clouds, magnificently colored trees, raging rivers, gushing waterfalls, large and small lakes everywhere.
Sixteen miles after we passed Eureka Summit at 3222ft. we stopped at the Sheep Mountain Lodge for lunch. In this area deep in the Chugach and Takeetna Mountains is a little town of Glacier View, population 234. This where we saw the greatest beauty on our 300 mile road trip. Many young hikers were getting ready for the trails. One couple had scheduled a private small airplane to view from the sky.
As is our custom we skipped the Musk Ox Farm, the Reindeer Farm, the Eklutna Indian Village, the Alaskan Native Heritage Center and every museum located in Alaska. What we did see cost no entrance fee. God provided the spectacular landscape. That is all we needed. To rap up this exceptionally beautiful day we had dinner at the Pub House Alaskan Igloo. See picture below.
The highlight of our first night in Valdez was dinner at the Fat Mermaid. All restaurants in the area have two things in common. They are all expensive and they all serve fried food with french fries.
It was raining when we arrived yesterday and its raining today. Forecast is 100% chance of rain all day. Consequently, although there are beautiful Mountains surrounding this town most views are not seen because of the rain, fog, and cloud cover. The photo above is a glimpse of the Valdez Glacier. If you blow the picture up you might be able to see it. In the 1898 Gold Rush gold seekers traveled over the glacier to the Alaska interior. If the weather was better Sandy and I would be on one of the many fantastic hiking trails. But, this rain is keeping us in the car or the hotel.
After lunch we visited the Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery where million of pink and silver salmon return each year. Apparently, it is a hotspot for bears and eagles and other marine mammals who come to feed on the salmon. The fifteen mile ride in the rain was worth the trip. Sandy spotted a black bear as we I drove at 20 miles an hour looking at Solomon Lake.
It turned out to be two small black bear cubs eating leaves off trees They were well hidden so our attempt to photograph failed to show much more than trees. We did find another fantastic huge waterfall near the fish hatchery. Photo below.
Most people who come to Anchorage, Fairbanks or Valdez visit museums. There are many options in each city. Each offers Native art and artifacts. All of these museums offer much to see and much to ponder. Sandy and I saved our brains from trying to learn something new. We haven’t been to any museum and have no plans to enhance our minds. We prefer to ride around town aimlessly looking at places off the tourist attraction maps.
The photo below was taken yesterday. It is Bridal Veil Falls which flows right into the Lowe River. In the winter these falls freeze over. This town has about six months of snow usually starting at the end of October through April.