Friday, May 26, 2017

In and Around Valdez and the Eagle Feedings

Our first full day in Valdez was sunny with temperatures around 55 degrees.  We were able to get out and familiarize ourselves with the town all it has to offer. We found the grocery store, post office, fuel stations, even the schools.  We located the parks, restaurants we want to try, the fresh fish market and of course the public boat docks.

The ferry system and cruise ships utilize this sturdy docking area.

This sunny public beach/park offered sheltered picnic tables and restrooms.

Neighborhoods here 
are quiet and quaint where we viewed kids riding their bikes on the sidewalk to and from school.

This towering Native American sculpture got our attention.  It's the 

Our view from the dining room in Roma Italian Kitchen.  Our meals of broiled Alaska scallops and grilled Cajun Halibut were scrumptious!

The view of the mountain as seen from behind our campground site.

Bayview RV Park owner "Rick" has a special permit to feed the eagles every afternoon around 5:00pm.  These feedings will take place until the middle of June when the feedings will stop because the eagles won't be interested in the frozen herring he's giving them.  They will find plenty of fresh fish in the Prince William Sound once the salmon fill the waters to spawn. These fish usually arrive around the middle of June.

What a special experience this has been for us, to see the eagles eat right in fount of your camper!  And it happens everyday around 5:00pm.

I've purchased a telephoto lens and I'm in the process of learning to use it correctly.  Here's some close-ups that I've also cropped and processed a bit for clarity.

Rick throws the fish up in the air and these birds catch them almost every time.

  I counted 12 eagles this feeding.  Rick said he has counted 45 eagles at times.  This particular day was sunny too so my camera had more light to work with.

Once the feeding ends, many of the eagles perch in the tree behind our motorhome.  Listening to their chirping sounds is something you never forget!

This experience leaves us speechless every time we see it.  

More Later.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Whitehorse, YT to Valdez, AK

Our travel day on the Alaska Highway from Whitehorse, YT to Tok, Alaska was a cold and dreary one.  We missed the Kluane National Park and Icefields because it was all shrouded in fog, rain and clouds. Hopefully we can have a better view on our drive back to the lower 48.  As we traveled towards the Alaska border the rain finally stopped and the skies cleared a bit.  Here's a few photos of our views from the motorhome's wide windshield this day.

The wind-whipped Donjek River, that's the river's silt blowing.

Around 5:30pm on May 21, we were given the "A-OK" by the U.S. Border Patrol and we crossed smoothly into Alaska. YEA!!  

We slept well with no issues boondocking at a rest area on the Alaska Highway and the next morning we arrived early to Tok, Alaska.  We filled up with diesel fuel and Ronnie drove towards the the Tok Cutoff Highway.  This road leads to Valdez, our destination.  More rain and fog kept us from viewing that gorgeous scenery but soon the skies cleared about the time we made it to the Richardson Highway.  We drove the most scenic section from the community of Gulkana down to the town of Valdez.  This part of the Richardson Highway deserves it's own blog post because the scenery is just so spectacular.  Here are a few (ha!) selections from the many, many photographs I took that day.

The spectacular mountain before us is called Mount "Billy" Mitchell.  It is named for Lt. William Mitchell (1879-1936) the Father of the Modern U.S. Air Force.  He was instrumental in constructing a telegraph line from Valdez and Nome connecting them to the Unites States.

Approaching Thompson Pass.
 At 2805 feet, it's the snowest place in Alaska, averaging 551 inches of snow a year.  The winter of 1952-1953 holds the record with 974 inches.

Descending down the pass into the town of Valdez.

Then we get to drive through the Keystone Canyon and view Bridal Veil Falls.

The view from our campsite of the bird-filled marshland, Duck Flats.

Daily 5:00pm eagle feedings until the middle of June by the Bayside RV Park owner (he possess a special permit).  All of the black birds seen here are eagles

More Later.