Valdez, Alaska


August 2006


Situated at the head of a deep, stillwater fjord in the northeast section of Prince William Sound, Valdez is surrounded by the Chugach Mountains, the most heavily glaciated mountains in the Northwest. It is also is the northernmost ice-free port in North America and the terminus for the 800-mile Alaska Pipeline, begun in 1975 and completed in 1977.  At the peak of construction, 30,000 pipeline construction workers were employed, making this the largest and most expensive privately funded construction project ever undertaken.  The weather was fabulous our first two days, then it was gray, overcast and rainy, obstructing views of the mountains all around us.  On the two good days, we toured the area, checked out the town itself, the fish hatchery across the bay, the site of Old Valdez (before the 1964 earthquake), visited several local museums, the Valdez Glacier, and nearby streams where the salmon are spawning.

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