July 11-12 – Valdez is a medium sized town of about 4,000 people, and is the terminus of the 800 mile Alaskan pipeline which originates in the oil fields in northern–most Alaska at Prudoe Bay. It was in Valdez that a major oil spill occurred in 1989, much like what happened recently in the Gulf of Mexico. They have recovered from that spill, and the major industry in Valdez revolves around the oil pipeline terminal and the fishing boats.
Long before the oil spill, in 1964, Valdez suffered a catastrophic earthquake which devastated the town and caused them to relocate the town 4 miles up the road. We watched a video with a lot of original news footage about the quake in one of the gift shops.
We spent two nights in Valdez in a campground within walking distance of downtown and the harbor. The campground wasn’t much, but the location was great.
We enjoyed walking around the harbor area and watching the fishing boats. Fisherman love Valdez for its deep harbor and easy fishing.
There is serious fishing going on in Valdez.
The sea gulls were watching, also, and eating! They were always ready to get an easy meal when the fishermen cleaned their catch.
We spent some time walking around downtown Valdez (which did not take long) and found this carving by Peter Toth.
We also stopped in to look around at the Whitney Museum which has a wonderful display of native artifacts from around Alaska.
We enjoyed the afternoon walking all around town, stopping in at some unique shops and had supper at the Fat Mermaid (I just love that name). : )