Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Alaska 2009 - part 3 - Chitina to Valdez

I'm sorry for the delay. I pushed hard to get all my photos sorted, tagged, and edited to burn discs to share. All done now, so no excuse left.

After hiking out of the Chitina fishing hole, we headed north on the Edgarton Hwy towards the Kenny Lake cutoff to head south to Valdez. This opposite direction thing is apparently normal in AK. I now realize why I was so turned around the first two times I visited; I followed signage and didn't really look at a road map.

Anyway, we came across a point on the Edgarton where there was a great view of the Copper River and Mount Wrangell to the ENE and Mount Drum to the NE.

The Copper River

The Copper River and Mount Drum

After a few snapshots, we continued our way north. We stopped for a quick bit so Bill could fish. The river we stopped at was the Tonsina River. It was at the end of its flow about to merge into the Copper River.

Tonsina River and rental truck with Dad lounging on the tailgate.

We didn't stay long there as the fishing was nil. We took a left at Kenny Lake (Old Edgarton Hwy heads north) and continued on the Edgarton until we hit the Richardson and made another left, now heading south-ish.

About 3 or 3.5 hours into our drive we stopped along the road for an interesting view of the Worthington Glacier. From this viewpoint, you can clearly see the large medial moraine. The interpretive center and location to hike from is on the left toe of the glacier at milepoint 30 on the Richardson Hwy.

Worthington Glacier from the northeast

Glacier Carved Valley
Photo taken facing away from Worthington Glacier

We stretched our stiff legs a bit - we had hiked out a few miles from the fishing hole that morning - by hiking up to the ice about 3/4 mile from the interpretive center. After that we hopped back in the truck for some grub in Valdez. Along the way we passed a salmon spawning touristy viewpoint and the pipeline terminus.

Alaska Pipeline Terminus, Valdez, AK

I forgot the name of the restaurant we ate, but Tim & I had eaten there March 2003 when I visited him and we headed down to Valdez from Fairbanks. It's not really a big town, so there weren't that many options. It was fine... great when you consider the lack of food we had all day.

We camped by the Valdez Glacier that evening. Beautiful, but very cold with all the cold air rushing down off the ice towards the Prince William Sound.
I love this image :)

The ice in the center background is the Valdez Glacier. We camped a half-mile down the road from here. I think that was the first place we were attacked by mosquitos. There weren't many, they didn't last long, and they were normal sized. The worst part was the cold, but my sleeping bag was rated for 15 degrees so I was more than toasty for the 40-45 degree night, the coldest of the entire trip.


J.G. said...

Wow! It is gorgeous there! I don't know squat about camping or hiking, but anytime you have views like that and can pick your own raspberries for breakfast, you're in a good place.

Looks like a fabulous time. No wonder you wanted to stay!

Linda in Erie said...

Wow,what awesome views! I did a lot of camping when I was younger (in my 20s and 30s) so you brought back some of the smells of fresh air and the feeling of being nice and warm in the sleeping bag when its really cold outside for me. That is an great vacation!

Heidi said...

Yep J.G. Anytime you can visibly see and feel and taste the natural resources, it's obviously a great place!

Thanks Linda. Our family - even my mom - camped a lot when we were kids. Now, it's not mom's style, but my dad sure loves it and my brother and I of course do too and probably will the rest of our lives.

Adam R. Paul said...

More lovely scenery. Except for the oil pipeline. I could do without that. :) Worthington Glacier looks, well, worthy!

Heidi said...

LOL Adam :) Well, a necessary evil, but iconic of Alaska, so it was included. It really does have minimal visual impact. Some places you have to really look hard to find it.

Mary C said...

And I get to enjoy the scenic photos afterwards. I get enough joy from that. ;o) Great photos, Heidi.

Heidi said...

Thanks :)

Although a picture is worth a thousand words... being there in person is way more than that.

RuthieJ said...

OMG - the views are truly breathtaking! I truly hope I can visit Alaska some day -- even more so now that I've seen your pictures Heidi!

Heidi said...

I hope so too... and with all the hunting and fishing available, I don't see any excuse for you and Mr. J. to not go :)


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