Wednesday, June 1, 2011


We had a short drive today, about 75 miles. On the way, we saw a porcupine on the side of the road. There was no traffic, so we stopped, but it took a few minutes to get my camera ready so I only got a porcupine rear view! It was a very well-fed critter, as evidenced by the size of its belly!


There were lots of spectacular waterfalls, some partially frozen. I took this using my digital zoom, where it’s very hard to keep the camera still enough to focus.


I think I got lucky for it to come out as clear as it did. Here’s the un-zoomed view.


There were beautiful views everywhere we looked, even on a cloudy day.


We saw Worthington Glacier from the road.


The mountains were enshrouded in a cloud.


And one of the clouds descended on us. It was a little scary for a few miles, but we finally descended enough to get below it.


Then we saw more waterfalls.




We arrived at our destination in what might be called a ‘mist.’ Or maybe a ‘drizzle.’ Just enough moisture to make the car muddy and make us want to wear rain gear outside. On a clear day, I’m sure this would be a spectacular view.


We’re parked at Allison Point, which isn’t really a campground in the traditional sense, but rather a place to park with excellent views across the fiord to Valdez. There are no hookups, but vault toilets and drinking water from a tank that’s trucked in, are provided for a $12/night fee. And there was plenty of room for our “Last Frontier Gang” to park together, leaving a little space in between. During fishing season, this place would be packed tight.


Our neighbor at the end of the road is the Valdez Marine Terminal, covering 1,000 acres of land with restricted access. This is the southern end of the Alaska pipeline, where crude oil is stored and loaded onto tankers.


Don and I drove into town, about 7-8 miles around the other side of the fiord. We saw the Silver Shadow, a cruise ship so large I couldn’t get it in one picture. We saw it in the distance from our campsite across the water.



There was no evidence of passengers in town, and by the time we returned to our motor home, the ship was gone.

We ate lunch at the Mexican restaurant. It was time for me to have a fix! Not bad food for being this far north. Certainly better than what we ate in North Dakota last summer.


Tonight our group met for happy hour and dinner at the Fat Mermaid.


And we celebrated Jean Fradette’s 70th birthday. He may be the oldster in our group, but he’s probably the most physically fit!


He got lots of cards and a few cute gifts, including this shot glass, for prune juice of course!


He even got a hug from the waitress, at Claudette’s request! Happy Birthday, Jean, and here’s wishing you many more!


The final event of importance today is that my Kindle died. It simply wouldn’t turn on. I called Amazon customer support and they walked me through a hard reset (which I had already tried) without results. The Kindle is still under warranty, so Amazon is sending me a replacement, no charge for the new Kindle or shipping, and no charge for shipping the dead one back. The challenge was finding a place where I could receive a UPS shipment and figuring out the time it might arrive. Without going into details, we settled on the Fort Richardson Black Spruce Campground near Anchorage, where we plan to be in about 10 days. The normal one- or two-day shipping that Amazon uses doesn’t apply to shipments to Alaska or Hawaii, due to the distances involved. So I’m now reading every magazine I can get my hands on until I can get back to reading books on my Kindle! Thank goodness for Amazon’s superior customer support and excellent warranty coverage. It’s a very nice company to do business with. Taking care of this bit of ‘business’ took about 7 phone calls, and I’m glad to have it resolved.

Tomorrow we’re going out in the Prince William Sound. Hope to have some pics of whales and/or other creatures to share with you. Thanks for following our adventures!


  1. As I said yesterday, "Valdez!"

    Your Kindle problem is one reason we read paper books. They seldom fall apart, and when they do, a little sealing tape works wonders. And we exchange books freely in many campgrounds.

    But for those who prefer Kindle, at least you don't have to carry books with you on a trip to Alaska, except of course, The Milepost!

  2. ACK! Sorry to hear about your Kindle! I broke my first Kindle (my fault, not the Kindle's) and it was tough till I got a new one. Fortunately, I had a bunch of retro-paper books along.

    The waterfalls are gorgeous!


  3. If you have a laptop, you can get a Kindle Ap for free. You "sinc" it with your Kindle and can read the books you have on either. Reading the ap doesn't take much power, so you don't have to have your laptop plugged in.


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