Thursday, June 10, 2010

On our way

We headed back to the lower 48 last Friday and have not really stopped to take a breath yet. We landed in Oklahoma and took off for Colorado and now are in Texas. We will leave Texas early, early Saturday morning. Will catch up on everyone's blogs as I can over the next couple of weeks. Stay safe and know that you are all being thought of daily!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Valdez 3

We have reached our destination!!

It is just beautiful!

I believe this is the most spectacularly beautiful place I have ever seen.

The mountains surround and engulf you.
We were awestruck with the beauty. It gives the appearance of a quiet little fishing town, very peaceful.

This one is for you Big Kahuna...
Always good to see a familiar sight!

Semper Paratus!

Did you know that in 1964 a devastating earthquake measuring 9.2 on the Richter scale and lasting over 4 minutes struck 45 miles west of Valdez.  The earthquake triggered an underwater landslide which then triggered huge waves. The death toll was severe for this little town.  In 1967 it was discovered the entire town had been built on unstable ground and was moved 4 miles east.  They moved 52 buildings and razed and burned the others. Very interesting history.

We enjoyed our stay in Valdez and were amazed by its beauty. The lush greenery reminded me very much of Oregon.  

On the way back we stopped to pick some of these flowers. 
The folks at the restaurant we stopped at told us these were Lupine. Very pretty! They don't last long when picked though. We also saw some forget-me-nots (Alaska state flower).

It has been interesting not having the chain restaurants along the way.

It has given us the opportunity to branch out, go beyond our comfort zone, and have some different experiences.

Look how cute this is. Now if there had been this place and a Cracker Barrel sitting side by side which would you have chosen by looking at the outside?  This was charming and the people running it were very nice indeed!

Back to Fairbanks to wrap up our last week and head back to the lower 48.

What an adventure we have had!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On the way to Valdez (2)

The next stop on our Memorial Day weekend trip was the Worthington Glacier. We had really wanted to see a glacier while we were here and this one was on the way to Valdez and had some interesting information for us to peruse.

The snow was all off the road and cleaned off some of the pathways but still has a lot of melting to do.

I talked with chain-smoking, weathered-looking woman who evidently ran the little visitors center there (or at least she had a key).  She was very gracious and offered me some valuable information about the birds hereabout and toward Valdez.

She also entertained me with a story about an eagle she was semi nursing back to health. She also provided me with a map of the area and suggested a couple of places to eat while in Valdez. Good information for a traveler in the area.

After the snow melts it is easier to see the glacier. 

The glacier here is in the part between the two mountains.  It looks like a valley filled in with snow but it does have a few blue patches.

This is Thompson pass, about 25 miles north of Valdez. This is the snowiest place in Alaska.

Between Thompson pass and Valdez is an area of beautiful waterfalls. There had to have been hundreds of little waterfalls cascading down from the mountains. This one is called Bridal Veil Falls.

I think this was my favorite and is called Horse Tail Falls.  By this time we were no longer getting 790 on the AM dial and resorted to a Taylor Swift CD and we were feeling...


Traveling to Valdez

Our last big trip here in Alaska was to Valdez. 

Memorial Day weekend we loaded up the car, jumped in, tuned the radio to 790 on the AM dial and went jamming down the road toward Valdez.

We picked a good weekend. The scenery was beautiful and the sky at this time was clear.

Good traveling companions helped to keep the mood light.

Hard to keep a good girl down!

Another view of the Alaskan pipeline.

The pipeline is an amazing structure built in the middle of the wilderness. For some reason seeing it here in this vast wilderness gives me a feeling of security.

Alaskan beauty.

Isn't this a magnificent slide area?

As we were standing there taking this picture we started hearing what sounded like rain. Turned around and noticed small rocks tumbling down the mountainside. Oh ya, we hightailed it outta there lickity split!

The Wrangell Mountains.

Angelic Little companion.

Mischievous Little Companion.

Smile... snap... off we go again with the AM radio pumping out the tunes!