After several cool, rainy days we had some of the best weather days local folks in Valdez said they had seen recently. Cloudless, sunny days with temperatures in the upper 60's were perfect for sightseeing and we took advantage of it. Traveling to Valdez on that first day, we were excited to see the beautiful scenery on the Richardson Highway but we were anxious to get to Valdez and find a great campground. We did not take time to enjoy the views at that time so we decided on the first clear day we had, we would make the drive back to Mount "Billy" Mitchell and see the sights we missed.
The Richardson Highway is Alaska's oldest and most historic road with unparalleled mountain scenery in every turn. Click here and here to read more about this well known highway.
Here are some photographs from our day's scenic drive back down the Richardson Highway.
Bridal Veil Falls in Keystone Canyon
|The metal "upside down L poles" seen here along the highway are guides for the snow plows.|
A sweeping view from Thompson Pass
A view of the shrinking Worthington Glacier
That's Ronnie walking down to the glacier stream. You could hike up to the Worthington Glacier but we opted not to because it was so chilly and we were unsure of the difficulty of the trail. Part of the trail was still covered with snow and ice.
This is the ice covered lake at the base of the Worthington Glacier.
In 1950, this lake was not here, only the Glacier. The Worthington Glacier is a "retreating glacier" meaning it has been melting and moving backwards. The posted info plaque here suggests the glacier will never completely disappear even with a warming climate due to the high elevation, the winter climate here along with heavy snow accumulations.
We see lots of on going road construction.
Some of these photographs were taken from inside the Jeep, hence the smudge spots..
Mount "Billy" Mitchell
We had driven about 80 miles when we decided to make the return trip back to Valdez. Interestingly, the views going back in the opposite direction are different sweeping mountainous landscape views.
The day was so glorious we decided to drive down to the ferry terminal and see the surrounding snow-covered mountains around the Port of Valdez.