58 degrees at 8:30 am.
65 at 12:55 pm
Diesel: $ 4.79
Yesterday, our last full day in Valdez was a busy one. First things first. Trucks and rigs get dirty up here. Really dirty. Can you tell the clean from the dirty?
Both truck and rig got a good scrubbing. We well remember a couple of weeks ago while in Whitehorse we washed the truck. It was just as dirty the next day. Thinking not to expect either the truck or fiver to look as good as it does now for long.
Then it was off to visit two museums in town. Senior cost was $6.00 each and got us into both museums.
A 1960 model home-made clothes washer:
The Old Valdez museum shows a great video of how the town came to be from the gold rush days til now. Of special interest were interviews of townspeople remembering March 27, 1964 at 5:36 pm. The largest earthquake in north America. Most homes and businesses were destroyed. Over 100 people lost their lives.
As the old town sat on unstable soft ground, in 1966 the town was moved 4 miles west. Those buildings that could be moved, were moved. New homes and businesses were built.
We took a ride out to the site of the original town.
Not much there. Dirt roads and a few signs telling what used to be there. (Yea, already the truck is getting dirty.)
This is what remains of the dock which collapsed killing the 32 people who were on it.
The very best part of the day was our drive to the Solomon Gulch Fishing Hatchery.
The stream next to the hatchery is a popular location for salmon fishing. Not only people, but lots of bears are reported to do their fishing here. None were there when we were but there was lots of signs warning of them. One mans catch:
As we walked toward the river a man and woman with their two young boys were walking out. The first boy (looked about 10) said to us "We got our LIMIT of 8 fish". The other little boy who looked about 5 said "No, we got TEN". Not to worry, as far as we know, no game warden was within ear shot.
The BEST part is this is an area with abundant Bald Eagles.
And FOUR in one shot.
So, today we get back on the road. We will only go about 90 miles back up toward Glennallen (the road we came down here on is the only road back). We saw a turnout site near a river that looks good for a boon dock night. Then on Wednesday off to the town of Wasilla for three nights.
We did make some changes to our plans when leaving Alaska. One road we thought of driving (Top of the World Highway) we decided against. One person told us they had four flat tires on it. There was another that got a broken axle. So looks like we will be doing some retracing our steps. Regardless we still have the entire rest of the month of July and well into August before we head back into the lower 48.
12:55 pm. We left the campground and went only about 110 miles. We are boondocking about 8 miles south of Glennallen at a roadside turnout right by a river. Had lunch and now thrilled that I have excellent cell and Internet connections. Verizon coverage has been very good here in Alaska.
One thing - the truck does not look like it did went we left Valdez this morning. We had to go through about 2 miles of road construction. About 1/4 mile was dirt, wet dirt. The passenger side of the truck is covered with mud. We knew the shiny, clean truck would not look like it did for long. But good grief, it should have lasted longer than 60 miles!