Alaskan adventures (part 1)
This past summer I went on my second trip to Alaska. My plan was to fly into Anchorage, and then take a commuter flight to Valdez to visit a friend. Unfortunately when the weather is bad, the commuter flights get canceled...and that happened not only to my scheduled flight, but also the one they rebooked me on for noon the next day! It looked as though things were going from bad to worse when they had no more flights available until 10pm. Waiting around for another 10 hours really did not appeal to me (especially since I'd already been delayed about 18 hours), and there was no guarantee the flight that night would go either, since there was no sign of the weather clearing up.
So I ended up renting a car and driving. It is about a 6 hour drive if the traffic and construction don't delay you, and assuming you don't stop along the way.
To get to Valdez you drive along scenic Richardson Highway, which takes you through Thompson Pass and Keystone Canyon. In Thompson Pass is also Worthington Glacier, which you can hike right up to.
Once you arrive in Valdez, you will discover how amazingly beautiful it is. There are some great places to go hiking... my friend took me along a small back road behind the town to where we could see a pretty waterfall in a very lush area. Another day we went hiking across a marsh and down to the beach. Don't forget to stop by Valdez Glacier. It is not that big compared to many, but it is right outside town. You can also see the original site of Valdez that was destroyed by the earthquake in 1964.
Photo credits: Teekaygee.