Saturday, August 8, 2015

Worthington Glacier hike

Tuesday we went first to the fish hatcheries to watch the salmon as they tried to make it up the ladder, as well as watch the workers processing the fish.  This operation is designed to keep the population of the salmon up, so they use controlled spawning to harvest and fertilize the eggs, control the growth until they release the fry back into the waters.  Pretty amazing operation.

Here is an area where there is a fish weir, and from time to time bears come to fish, so the barriers are to warn people not to get too close when bears are present.
The fish weir
Some of the salmon, working hard to swim up the ladder--this was at low tide when we were there in the morning

A seagull feasting on a fish that got caught on the rocks when the tide went out

Mobs of these salmon, all trying to make it upstream

Workers harvesting the eggs that will be fertilized to grow salmon fry which will eventually be released into the river

On our way to Worthington Glacier--this is Horsetail Falls

And Bridal Veil Falls
Some bright red berries with the fireweed--the blooms of the fireweed are fading fast, now that fall is quickly approaching
Hiking up to the glacier

Sophie did great on the hike!

Lots of little ponds with the glacier runoff
Ice cave at the bottom of the glacier

Just love this blue ice!

Sophie, taking a lick off the glacier!

A cairn we built in memory and honor of our dear friend, Jill Wolleat, who returned to heaven two years ago.  The summer she left us, we built a cairn in her memory on Mackinac Island, Michigan, and now there is a monument to her memory at the base of Worthington Glacier in Alaska.  She was such an angel, and a joy to sweet Pam, and all who were fortunate enough to know her

Sophie among the fireweed!
We stopped at Blueberry Lake campground on the way back to Valdez, and this was the view from one of the campsites--pretty awesome, huh?
This is where you would put your tent on this site
And this is what you would find to pick along the ground--wild blueberries!!
Sophie in the blueberry bushes

Blueberry Lake

On the Richardson Highway, back toward Valdez is this hand cut tunnel that was supposed to be for a railroad.  It was done in 1906 when several competing companies were trying to build a railroad line into Valdez, with the promise of riches to be made.  No railroad ever got built, however, as the competing companies fought over their claims, and ultimately the whole idea was abandoned.

I took a wonderful bike ride later that afternoon on this great paved trail--here it runs right alongside the highway, but then it veers off away from the road through the trees

Going over a little footbridge across the river

Pretty amazing place to ride, with mountains and glaciers on both sides!

Now I've turned off the highway, headed toward the fish hatcheries, and this sign just cracked me up!

As this was later in the afternoon, the tide was high and there were tons more fish around the weir

Just before I got to the hatcheries, I saw several vehicles stopped on the other side of the road, and people were out, looking over a small stream.  I stopped and asked what they were seeing and they told me a mama bear and her two cubs had just been down by the stream but had gone back up into the woods shortly before I got there--oh darn!!
Through the beautiful fireweed!

The colors of these marsh grasses are just gorgeous!

Lots of ducks!

That evening we went out to dinner for a birthday celebration for our friend, Paul Johnson, who, with his wife, Moonlin, live in Venice, Fla., so we'll get to see them next winter when we're in Sarasota!

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