RubiKon Adventures

Tales and travels of "GrizzLee", "Looksha Lori" & "Yukon Johann"

Friday, June 7, 2019

GrizzLee Stories From the North: Valdez and More

Tangle Lakes... Whooaa
So after a wonderful night at Tangle Lakes we headed over toward Paxson.  Paxson is the official end, or start of the Denali Highway. Along the way we were treated to some of the best views Alaska has to offer. It was scrumptious. Once on the Richardson Highway, the weather really began to warm up. We passed through Gakona and Gulkana before arriving at Glennallen. The latter town serves as a hub as it sits at the junction of the Glennallen highway and the Richardson Highway. And a bit farther north is the Tok cutoff highway. It was here, in Glennallen that both, Yun and I refueled, got something to eat and planned our next move. I had thoughts of going to the Kennicot Mine out to McCarthy and such, while Yun had his sights set on going to Valdez. MY time up north was running short now and I only had time for one or the other. In the interest of having a riding companion for a while longer, it was decided to head to Valdez. I must say, the weather was spectacular and I won’t’ lie, the weather played a big part in my decision. Sunshine in Valdez can be a rare treat for these parts and seeing more glaciers and tasting the ocean air was enticing as well.

More Denali Hwy Beauty
We soon came upon Mt Worthington and decided to hike up towards the Worthington Glacier. It was nice and refreshing. My legs enjoyed the hiking and my soul loved the views.

Denali Hwy

Parting shots of the Denali Hwy... It was hard to leave
From there we headed over to Blueberry Pass and soaked up the incredible views of the deep fjord valley heading down toward Valdez. The Richardson Hwy snaked its way up and around the pass before dropping quickly into the valley below. It was hard to pay attention to the road as my eyes wandered all over the place trying to absorb the scenery passing by.  We passed Horsetail Falls and Bridal Veil falls (geez, seems like there are a million falls named the same around the world), all so beautiful and within arms length off the hwy.

Worthington Glacier

Climbing up to the glacier
We pulled into Valdez and did a quick tour of the town. We eventually parked the bikes on Harbor Drive and got some Thai food for dinner and enjoyed basking in the sunshine a bit, looking across the sound at the snow capped peaks. We then pulled out and went over to the other side of the arm to look for a good place to camp. Turns out, we decided not to camp over there because the Salmon were running.


Waterfalls galore

What a cool road to ride

We stopped near the Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery to witness thousands of salmon trying to spawn. There is a weir gate that prevents them from moving upstream to Solomon Lake. Sea Lions and Sea Gulls were feasting on the Salmon. The Sea Lions, seemed to have little respect regarding the salmon and killed them and would thrash them about and then finally let them go without eating them. Very strange behavior.

Thousands and thousands of fish

I swear I could walk across the sound on the backs of the fish
As mentioned, not wanting to camp there due to bear activity, we proceeded to head over to the Valdez Glacier. There is a campground out that way but we thought that perhaps we could camp at the Valdez Glacial Lake. We arrived there and it was beautiful. A couple of folks were pulling out of the lake in their kayaks. We chatted a bit and took some photos. We were soon advised not to camp there in tents because of high bear activity there. Sooo we motored our way back to the “Valdez Glacier” Campground. As we pulled in, we saw a rather large black bear run across the road and into the campground. We quickly alerted folks that a Black bear had just entered the camp. May folks were grilling food over an open fire and it smelled delicious. I could see how a hungry bear could be swayed to invade a camp and attempt to swipe a delicious meal form some unsuspecting campers.

Valdez Glacier Lake

Yun and myself posing with our steeds in the glacial wonderland
In any event, we found a place to setup and grabbed a well deserved shower and settled in for the night.

The next day, I began my journey back home….

No comments:

Post a Comment