Catching up on the trip to Valdez
Jul 16, 2012
|Hey, Guys, How are you all?
I tried to upload lots of photos for you but it took too long so, you're just getting a few...such is Wifi service in the Yukon. We're now on our way home back near, Watson Lake. However, I wanted to tell you about Valdez so here's the scoop.
We left Seward on a rainy day and drove to Whittier in preparation for a ferry ride across Prince William Sound, which we'd arranged for 2 weeks earlier. To get to Whittier you have to drive to a tunnel access and drive (with a distance of some number of feet between you and the car in front of you...for about 10 minutes in the tunnel, through the mts. We arrived for the 12:30 opening of the tunnel. We arrived in rainy Whittier and found our way to the town campground. It was a dry camping affair but on the banks of a lovely stream...one of the nicer sites we've had actually.
The next day we were scheduled to take the ferry, Aurora on the 6 1/2 hr ride to Valdez. We'd hoped to enjoy the beauty of Prince Wm but the fog bank was low and the rain was pretty persistent on the windshield of the boat. We did see porpoise, whales and some stellar sea lions on the way. As we neared the Columbia Glacier the ice flows were amazing. Huge chunks in pretty dramatic shapes.
We arrived at our campground around 7:30 pm and noticed that a friend we'd made in Dawson City was there also. Had a brief reunion (his chocolate lab-female, was not fond of Colden). He'd been fishing and hoped that we'd take some of his salmon catch off his hands which we gratefully did the next day. The following day we took a driving and walking tour of Valdez. It's really a neat town (our opinion) which has a pop of about 800 in the summer, but more like 4000 in the winter-go figure!
Anyway, we learned of a mama grizzly who was entertaining folks a bit out of town, fishing for her cubs. We went in search of her at the first high tide around 1:30...no sighting. At 7:15 or so we went back out toward the fish hatchery, saw a bear jam and stopped only to be told that we'd just missed her. One of the men who'd been following her showed us pics he'd taken of her and her 4-that's right-4 cubs. As luck would have it, didn't she come back down an embankment while we were there followed by her quartet. Oh, MY GOSH...she was soooo close and soooo tolerant of the humans. There must have been 30 people watching as she made her way across the road and fished for the kids supper. We watched for over about an hour and she and the kids were still just working their way around catching salmon. There was a 5 fish limit for humans...none for bears.
Earlier in the day we'd been there and that trip we were entertained by literally hundreds of bald eagles, young and mature. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to add more about Valdez and include pics. We'll be at a different campsite and hopefully better internet.
For now, Take care and stay well.
Ingrid, Joe and Colden