August 10

In and around Valdez

On the 10th we explored the Valdez area.  When we were there, there were tons of salmon and, of course, the salmon fisherman weren't far behind.  This is from a salmon viewing area just outside of town.On the other side of the bay from the town of Valdez is the pipeline terminal, and also a salmon hatchery.  The sea was alive with fish.

They were very easy to catch, even with bare hands.  Tom let it go after he caught it, though.Tom picked up a handful of salmon eggs from the water.

We drove around the backroads of Valdez some, where the old town of Valdez used to be (before the earthquake of 1964).  There were more salmon streams there.

Horsetail falls, outside of town on the Valdez highway.Tom and I took a hike up Goat Trail, which was an old gold mining route over the glacier.  It wasn't build for the views--this is pretty much the only decent view we had.

Later on we walked around the harbor.  We saw this fishing boat rolling up it's nets.There's a "clean your own salmon" area right outside the harbor.  It was a treat to see people fillet the salmon quickly and skillfully, with extremely sharp knives that they sharpened every couple minutes.  This gentlemen is from Fairbanks, but is planning on retiring in (guess where?) Seattle, and wintering in Arizona.

Much of the fish is wasted when you cut fillets off a salmon.  The waste was thrown off a ramp into a cage in the water.  I wondered what happened to it afterwards.Dad and I took a drive on a dirt road out of town, in an area that's also a ski area in the winter.

Later on in the evening, we drove to the salmon hatchery area we'd gone to in the morning, because we'd been told that in the evening the bears come out.  Didn't see any bears, but there were many more salmon, even though it was hard to believe.

Sunset over Valdez.