Valdez….. a fishy little town.
Okay so the plan changed countless times after leaving Anchorage. Wanted to stop to camp in Palmer but decided to push on to Glennallen instead. The Glenn Highway is absolutely amazing. I just wanted to keep riding. I was riding in & out off the rain but I didn’t care, the scenery was absolutely out of this world. Kept bumping into Jean-François & Anna from Canada. They were on their way to Valdez. Now a lot of people had told me about Valdez so I decided to go there instead.
So instead of stopping in Glennallen I turned to the right taking the Richardson Highway. Turns out to have been a smart move.
Once again, a simply amazing road twisting, turning, climbing and dipping its way down over the Thompson pass and into Valdez.
Booked onto the Eagles Rest RV park and campsite, 15 dollars a night, including hot showers & super clean modern toilets. The campsite was ringed on 3 sides by mountains & the harbor on the fourth side. A truly great find.
Valdez is a small quaint little fishing town, the end point of the Alaskan pipeline and host to the Derby fishing competition. A competition taken really seriously, for more than 50 years, by all the locals & people from as far afield as Fairbanks. The Valdez Halibut Derby features a 15,000 dollar cash grand prize for the largest Halibut, 5,000 dollar for 2nd place and 2,000 dollar for 3rd place. In addition to weekly prizes, all anglers who purchase a ticket have a chance to win 10,000 cash in a drawing at the end of the season…. Info from the Valdez Derby website.
Wednesday, 28 June, spent part of the day chilling on the campsite basking in the sun and the other part wandering aimlessly through town, taking in the harbor activity. The following day weather had turned again, a typical Alaskan phenomena, rain. Explored the local museum, learning about the history and the lives of the early settlers from this region. The gold rush days, the great earthquake from 1964 which devastated this whole area. It was an economical disaster that took decades to recover from. The first barrel of crude oil to arrive in Valdez from Prudhoe Bay by dogsled in 1975, or the oil spill that occurred on March 24, 1989, when the tanker, Exxon Valdez, ran aground, spilling 240,000 barrels of crude oil into Alaska ‘s Prince William Sound, an ecological disaster with permanent consequences, the effects of which can be seen today.
Valdez and the surrounding country side are definitely worth a visit, if for nothing else the journey there. Weather forecast for the coming days predicts rain so gonna head off to Denali national park with Jean & Anna. Will stop somewhere along the way to break the journey…