Yukon Sights by Sue Thomas

Blueberry Lake Rec Site to Valdez, AK

25 August 2010 - Wednesday

Sure can't complain about the incredible views around us this morning. Amazing!
Heard coyotes howling last night. Tazz was keenly interested in the sound!

Hiked for about 90 minutes before heading out. I think we found the old road down the mountain, accessed from an area near the old part of the campground.

Richardson Highway into Valdez, Alaska
On the campground road - Tazz is on duty and thinks something is suspicious

A short drive today into Valdez. Soon after pulling out of the campground there is a great view of Blueberry Lake from the highway on the hairpin turn.

Richardson Highway into Valdez, Alaska
Blueberry Lake and mountains

The descent is long and steep. The poles along the highway guide the snow clearing crews in winter.

Richardson Highway into Valdez, Alaska
Descending towards Valdez from the Thompson Pass

There are a couple of waterfalls alongside the highway, through Keystone Canyon.

Richardson Highway into Valdez, Alaska
Bridal Veil Falls near Valdez, with the truck parked on the widened shoulder

Richardson Highway into Valdez, Alaska
Horsetail Falls

Then onto the tidal flats near Valdez.

Richardson Highway into Valdez, Alaska

I had read about the camping on the Terminal Access Road at Allison Point so we headed out to take a look.

Out towards Allison Point at Valdez, Alaska
On the road to Allison Point

Combat camping in crowded quarters was not our idea of fun so we turned around at the dead end and headed back towards the highway. It was salmon-run time! At one of the creek crossings, the dead fish & seagulls were everywhere!

Out towards Allison Point in Valdez, Alaska
Seagull facing a tough decision

There was also a black bear, quite a distance from the highway. The zoom lens was working hard to get this shot! 

Salmon run at Valdez, Alaska
Black bear indulging at the salmon run

The collection of dead fish was very intriguing. I took numerous shots. 

Salmon ran at Valdez, Alaska
One live fish amongst the dead still working to get upstream

Salmon run at Valdez, Alaska
At this point, the salmon stopped and seemed willing to join the others

Salmon run at Valdez, Alaska

Salmon run at Valdez, Alaska
Okay, to each their own!

Still not sure where we would camp, we headed to the Glacier Campground and Valdez Glacier.

At the glacier, there was a kayak tour heading out. We thought about unloading the kayaks but figured it really wasn't all that interesting. The glacier was quite a ways back and not visible.

Valdez, Alaska
Kayakers heading out on the lake and around the ice at the base of the Valdez Glacier

The lake and stream are a murky colour.

Salmon run at Valdez, Alaska
Lake & mountains at the Valdez Glacier parking area

Valdez, Alaska
Looking the other way was more interesting

On the way back to the highway we heard gunshots. There was a fellow with a pistol standing beside the road. Apparently this was a firing range. Soon after was the road into the Glacier Municipal Campground. The campground wasn't too bad, but didn't pique our interest especially with the firing range so close. So time to carry on. 

Past the Valdez Airport. I thought the sign below amusing. Wondered what it would be like to stay at a "mancamp". Made me think of Red Green, a popular Canadian TV show. Maybe men don't mind sleeping in stacked ATCO trailers whereas women are fussier ... dunno.

Mancamp at Valdez, Alaska

Mancamp at Valdez, Alaska
Look closely to see the old room rates under the new price!

We figured we better get serious about finding a spot to overnight, or plan to head back to Blueberry Lakes. Valdez was very busy and the campgrounds were almost fully booked. As well, the campgrounds were cramped, crowded, busy and didn't offer a lot in the way of scenery.

It was only Wednesday so we lucked in a dry campsite at Bayside RV Park. The clerk made it clear that no generators were allowed in the dry campsites! The site was available for one night only. Our fifth wheel is "small" - so we were able to fit! And I had a great view from our rear kitchen window.

Valdez, Alaska
Dry camping at Bayside RV Park.

Then we took a walk around Valdez. It isn't that large, so walking around town isn't too difficult. The docks were busy with folks there to fish for salmon.

Valdez, Alaska
Dock entrance at Valdez

Valdez, Alaska
Valdez harbour

Later in the evening we went grocery shopping. Picked up some fish & chips, headed to the park by the convention center to eat, then drove to the dock by the ferry terminal to see the views.

Valdez, Alaska
Clear evening at the Valdez waterfront

When I visited in the mid-1980s there were tours of the Valdez Terminal. This year, no tours and no getting close to the facility. I took a few shots of the tank farm from the Valdez harbour.

Valdez, Alaska
Tank farm across Prince William Sound

Valdez was SO busy. People rushing in every direction. If you've read my pages, you know this isn't our style of camping. So we focused on getting the laundry done, scrubbing the humans clean, and getting a good night's sleep despite the noise of people, trucks, ATVs and boats coming and going.

Bayside has good facilities -- great laundry room, private showers/bathrooms and good Wi-Fi.  

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