Sunday, August 6, 2017

Riverboat Discovery Tour

This weekend Husband and I took a 3 hour riverboat tour down the Chena River. We watched a bush plane flying demonstration. We saw a sled dog team pull an ATV (the motor had been removed). We visited a replica of an Athabascan Native village, where we learned about their way of life. It was great way to spend an afternoon. 

 Bush plane demonstration

 Trailbreaker kennels

Summer dog sledding 

Dogs cooling off after their run 

 It was a gorgeous day to be out on the river

Where the Chena River meets the Tanana River. You can actually see the difference in the water colour between the two rivers

Close up of the two rivers meeting

Husband with some fox furs 

Reindeer 

Giant cabbage 

Sod roof 

In front of the riverboat 

Fish wheel 

Drying salmon (it smelled awful!)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Valdez

Last weekend we took a trip down to Valdez. It has been on our Alaska bucket list for a while and we were excited to cross it off. The drive took about 6 hours and followed the Trans-Alaska pipeline. The pipeline is 800 miles (1,300km) long and runs from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. There were a few areas where we could stop and touch it. 




We stopped at Worthington Glacier to hike. One of our goals for this weekend was to touch a glacier. We decided to hike the ridge line. Huge mistake! It was narrow. It was high. It was steep. It had drop offs that would have seriously maimed, if not out right killed us, if we had fallen. Someone had her fear of heights resurface about half way up the ridge line. There may have been crying (okay there was definitely crying). Thankfully, Husband was very patient and understanding and we turned around.





The ridge line. Nope. Nope. Nope. 

After our failed attempt to touch a glacier, we headed down the road to Valdez. We spent a few hours at the Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery on the edge of Port Valdez.  If you ever visit Valdez, this place is a must do! Since it is the middle of July, the pink salmon were running. We watched them try to swim up the weir in an attempt to return to the hatchery where they were born. There were also sea lions, sea otters, and harbour seals swimming in the bay. We watched these sea animals feed on the salmon. We were hopeful that a bear would show up for some dinner, but no such luck. We also spent all day Saturday sitting at the bay, watching and waiting. It was amazing to watch the tide come in, then go out, then come back in again. We stood on the beach and watched harbour seals playing. I tried to come up with a plan to capture and bring a sea otter home - I really want one for a pet. 













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Harbour seals playing


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If you listen at the beginning, you can hear the sounds the sea lions make. 


In front of a Whispering Giant sculpture. It was carved in sitka spruce and is 25 feet tall.


The Valdez Harbour

We had to head home on Sunday. Along the way we made a few stops for pictures. 


 Horse Tail Falls

Bridal Veil Falls







And, of course, since we were driving right past Worthington Glacier, we had to stop and try again to touch it. This time we took an easier path. In about 10 minutes we were at the glacier, and there was no crying! 












On our way back to the car, we heard a loud BOOM! We turned around just in time to see a huge chunk of ice fall of the glacier. Husband said "That looks like it fell from right by where I was standing!" We headed back to the glacier to see if he was correct. This is what greeted us. 

Before

After - you can see the chunk that fell. And see that cave? That's where Husband was standing about 15 minutes before the glacier calved.  


 Chunks of the glacier



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This water is flowing from the glacier. Those chunks of ice came from the glacier. It is grey because of all the sediment.

We loved our time in Valdez and are already making plans to visit again, only hopefully without the crying and the almost dying on a glacier parts.