Saturday, January 31, 2015

Overnight in Valdez

Jeff was down in Valdez for a training class this week.  I had never heard of Valdez until 1989 when the Exxon Valdez spill happened.  I am happy to report that it's all cleaned up!  I saw for myself!

I decided to join Jeff on Thursday for a little get away from home, and to see what new there was to see.  Unfortunately, I chose the one bad weather day to drive down there.  Yikes!  Lots of snow!  And since it's dry snow, lots of blowing snow!  I had the GPS on, and every time I saw a vehicle headed towards me, I would check to see if the road ahead of me was straight and if anyone was behind me, because I knew I was in for a white out!

It's about 115 miles from here to Valdez, so not a bad drive.  Almost at the end of the drive, with about 30 miles left, you go through Thompson Pass.  I remember driving through there in June and the amazing expansive view, so was sad that the snow meant there was no view at all.

Luckily when I got into Keystone Canyon, just a few miles past, the wind was nil and the clouds had stopped sprinkling the white stuff.  Suffice it to say that I hadn't seen the "Avalanche Area" sign before I pulled over to take these photo:
Bridal Veil Falls

Keystone Canyon

Finally got to the hotel where I ran in to the most feared and dangerous wildlife that Alaska has to offer:

He just hopped right up.  I probably could have picked him up if I had wanted to!  But I remember from when we had a bunny (oh, Bunn Bunn, you were cute, even if you did poop & pee on the floor when we would bring you into the house) that they bite.  And, no, I don't know if it was actually a he.  I wasn't going to get that personal.

Our room was on the side of the hotel facing the Coast Guard dock.

I might have been enamored with that ship.

A little bit.

I also saw a couple of otters, but knew that if I tried to find my camera, I would miss it, so I just enjoyed them.  I mean, how cute are otters?  They just float around on their backs all cute like.  Love those guys!

Luckily, Day 2 was a much better day!  Beautiful, clear, and blue skies!  The drive home was much more enjoyable.
panoramic view a couple miles outside of Valdez

A big shout out to the DOT guys who put the pull-offs all over the place in Alaska.  Seems like there is always a safe place to pull off of the road up here.
Keystone Canyon

There's this one hair pin turn just south of Thompson Pass, and there are 3 scenic pull-offs on that one turn alone!

so, Colleen, when are you coming up to go heli-skiing?

For the most part, I got out of the car to take photos.  The weather wasn't too bad.  But in Thompson Pass...
you probably can't tell how hard the wind was blowing...

Yikes!  No way!  I stayed in the car because the wind was just so strong!  The radio said that they were having wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour.  Well, I'll tell ya, the wind was so strong it was hard to get a photo, the car was being shaken so much.  I stayed in my car for that one.

It was nice to have a night away with my honey, but even nicer to be back home where we can sleep in our own comfy bed tonight.  I was greeted by 6 new inches of snow when I got home.  All within 24 hours....


  1. Such beautiful pics! I've never been to Valdez. Love the bunny - we had several when I was growing up, and I was bitten more than a few times.
    Sure wish you could send some snow our way!

  2. I have never been to Valdez in the winter. I look forward to our next adventure down the highway this summer. Lovely pictures.

  3. I love the picture of the wind. It can be so terrible here! I love the rest of your pictures, too. Especially all the Coast Guard pictures. They are stunning!

  4. Gorgeous pics!!
    And hahaha! I laughed out loud at Bunn Bunn the ferocious guard rabbit.
    So glad you got time away with your honey, that's the best :)