Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Monday, after we all arrived at the Grand View Campground, the girls spotted a trail leading out to a bluff and decided to take a hike. Since moose and bears where known to be in the area they ask if I would tag along to protect them. Actually I think they just wanted me along as bait to distract any bears or moose while they ran back to the campground. They say if a bear or moose comes after you, you only have to be faster than the slowest person. We were told that more people are killed by moose than bears. Bears will usually run to get away unless you surprise them. That is why you should make lots of noise while you are hiking. Moose, on the other hand, are aggressive and will charge you and stomp you. You should not run from a bear because that makes you appear as prey. You should run from a moose in a zig zag pattern because they have difficulty changing direction.

The girls go hiking

The following photo is the view the girls found at the end of their hike. The mountain on the left is Grizzly Point. The large mountain in the center is 8,000 foot Mt Wickersham rising above the Matanuska Glacier. The uniquely shaped mountain on the right is Lion's Head; an ancient volcano.

What the girls saw

The next morning we continued on the Glenn Highway heading to Valdez. We encountered some magnificent scenery as we motored down the road. Pam took the following photo through the windshield. By looking at Google Maps we determined that the mountain up ahead is Mount Blackburn. Wikipedia says Mount Blackburn is the highest peak in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska and the fifth highest peak in the United States.

16,390 ft Mount Blackburn in the distance

Not much farther down the road we intersected with the Richardson Highway and turned south towards Valdez. Some of you may remember Valdez as the place where the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground and spilled 38 million gallons of crude oil into the Prince William Sound. The major business in Valdez is the export of crude oil that arrives from the Arctic region via the Alaska Pipeline. Valdez is the terminus of the pipeline.

Valdez is surrounded by mountains that remind you of the Swiss Alps. Obviously Valdez is located near sea level and the road down to Valdez is a very long decent. Our friends, who have a motorhome larger than ours, stated they may have to leave a day early in order to climb the hill. One of the views on that long decent is Worthington Glacier and as luck would have it there was a large pullout where we were able to stop to take pictures.

Worthington Glacier

Our four motorhomes lined up at the turnout

Van, Tom, Paula, Joan, and Rich in scenery overload

Yours truly had not had a haircut since early May and was beginning to look like a homeless person. As soon as we got settled at our campground in Valdez we struck out in search of a barber. We found one at the Best Western Inn of all places. Based on Pam's statements the gentleman did a good job cutting my hair. He also gave us a tip on where to see a very large group of salmon and we will be headed over there today.

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