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Wednesday, August 7, 2013- Valdez

We woke up to clouds but no fog, temp 50. We were hoping that the weather would clear out today for at least a little while, but it never did. I finally caught up with the blog and Bob made our reservations for the Kennecott Tour in Wrangell.

After lunch, we went to town. Our fist stop was at the Chugach National Forest Visitor Center, where I stamped our Passport. We just missed a brown bear at their overlook but we were able to see the salmon spawning.

Salmon spawning

The have a beautiful waterfall right behind the building, which starts at the top of the mountain and ends at the bottom behind the FS building. 

Waterfall behind the NP visitor center.

We stopped at the Convention Center again, this time to take pictures across the bay, looking at the motor home.

The motor home across the bay from Valdez at Allison Point

We went to the Valdez Museum, $6 ea. The nice little museum had exhibits with their fire equipment, Native Cultures, Mining, Railroads, Ft. Liscum,  Richardson Highway, Roadhouses, the Earthquake, the Pipeline construction, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill.  We saw several black bunnies outside the museum. In the picture he looks brown, but he was really very black!

A black rabbit at the Museum

They had this restored 1907 fire engine.

Refinished fire truck from 1907


Fresnel light

This Fresnel Lens came from one of the local lighthouses when the lighthouse was damaged in a storm.

And we thought the Richardson road was bumpy!

And we thought that the road was rough coming into Valdez, glad it is paved at this point!


Once we finished there, we went to the Remembering Old Valdez museum. One entrance fee included both museums. The Old Valdez museum had dioramas of the old town and exhibits about the tsunami. Finally, they started their movies about the beginning of the town which included the Klondike Gold Rush and the beginning of the town. The second film was about the tsunami, and the third was about the move from the Old Town site to the new town.

Now we know why they moved where they did! The old town was located during the gold rush and was closest to Valdez Glacier and the bay. When the earthquake occurred, the the land under the town disintegrated. The land was from glacier silt and with the movement, the land liquefied ( like the mud flats south of Anchorage).  This caused the land to drop into the sea, at the same time that the tsunami occurred causing massive damage. The new location is more protected and on built on rock.  The movie was narrated by people who lived in the town and witnessed the death and destruction. 

We stopped at Safeway to pick up a few items, then drove back to the motor home. We cooked dinner and went back to the area between two bridges past the salmon hatchery. Last evening, there had been a mama bear with four cubs; another day there was a mama bear with three cubs. We keep seeming to miss them!

We returned to the motor home and the guy next to us was packing up salmon. He and his wife are from Annapolis, but are not full timers. We stood out talking to them for about 1/2 hour. Barbara had seen the mama bear and three cubs this morning, at around 10:30 at the hatchery! They are going to Wangle on Friday.

We watched the movie How Do You Know, on DVD and went to bed.

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