Monday, August 5, 2013
Going Deeper Into the Wild!
We left Anchorage and headed up the Glenn Highway towards Glennallen and then down to Valdez. The scenery was spectacular and the pavement rough. This whole area is bear city! The biggest grizzlies in Alaska live in this area. We campedat a rustic spot that made us glad we brought head-nets for the mosquitoes. We stopped at the headquarters for the Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, which is the largest (and one of the least visited) U.S. National Parks and did a short nature hike. Valdez was obliterated in the Alaskan earthquake of 1964, but has been rebuilt into a compact little community which looks like it is struggling for survival. This is the terminus of the Alaskan Pipeline and it looks like they and the Peter Pan cannery are the main employers. Bears are constantly seen in and around the town. Apparently, the main reason anyone comes here is for the fishing. We watched guys snagging red salmon on each cast. The fish were thick in the water. We saw a couple of happy sea lions as well. Everywhere were public fish cleaning stations and people, including Japanese tourists were processing some huge salmon and halibuts. Tomorrow we are heading north to the town of Chicken, Alaska where we will take the dirt road into the Yukon and leave the US territory behind. We plan to continue to Dawson City and follow the old gold rush trail on back roads, including a ferry across the Yukon river and eventually get to the Northwest Territory of Canada.