VALDEZ


valdez.jpg (114963 bytes)

This is a picture of the dock in Valdez.   Zach's holding one of the salmon we caught, and the public fish cleaning station is on the right (um, the OTHER right, otherwise known as the "left:).  While the fish hanging up aren't ours, they're certainly representative of the six salmon Zach and I caught.

Valdez is the terminus of the Trans-Alaskan oil pipeline, and right across the bay from the harbor and the boats is the tanker dock and tank farm.

Speaking of the pipeline, there's a rest stop north of Valdez where you can visit the pipeline and read about it's construction and operation.  It's a marvel of engineering, which as an engineer I was fascinated by. It's also, of course, an environmental nightmare, notwithstanding all of the mitigation they've gone through to minimize it's impact.  However, the techniques they used to insulate it from the permafrost, allow thermal expansion and contraction, and allow animal passage are all pretty cool.

Back to Valdez.

The bay is surrounded by the mountains that you can see in the background - it's very beautiful when the clouds are high enough to see them.  The first night in the campground, we saw a movie about the 1964 earthquake that leveled the town, driving a tidal wave 40 feet high over most of it, and totally destroying the waterfront.  Made us feel extremely safe, parked as we were 10 feet from the water on an open spit of land on the other side of the boats in this picture.

Besides taking a couple of short hikes here, Zach really wanted to go fishing, so he and I took a 1/2 day Salmon fishing charter with four other guys.  Deanie stayed on shore and relaxed.  Zach caught four fish (about 40 lbs. total) and I caught two.   We had the fish cleaned and filleted by a guy at the cleaning station (there was ZERO chance I was going to do it), and then we had it frozen, vacuum packed, stored, and then shipped to us.  You don't want to know what all this cost.


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