As you reach the summit (Thompson Pass) headed to Valdez, you come upon one of the most spectacular mountain scene. Thompson Pass is a 2,805 foot-high gap in the Chugach Mountains. I was telling Marcia that one of the things that I find fascinating here in Alaska is the High Alpine type of scenery you see, yet you are really not at that high of an elevation. The type of scene above can be seen in Colorado, for instance, but you are typically sitting at 6,000 feet or higher, with mountain peaks in the 14,000 feet range. The highest point of the Chugach Mountains is Mount Marcus Baker, at 13,094 feet, but with an average elevation of 4,006 feet, most of its summits are not especially high…and you cannot see Mount Marcus Baker along the road to Valdez.
This is Bridal Veil Falls, less than 20 miles from Valdez, right along the Richardson Highway in Keystone Canyon. At an elevation of 300 feet, the canyon walls raise nearly perpendicular, and the canyon is from 100 to 500 feet wide. There are many temporary waterfalls along the route, but Bridal Veil Falls (above) and Horsetail Falls (below) are most prominent waterfalls in the Canyon.
We have driven many scenic routes during my lifetime…and now two new routes, the highway to Skagway and the highway to Valdez are now in the top tier of drives that I have done.
Now we did not even have to leave our home in Florida to see Bald Eagles…however, I have never seen so many Bald Eagles in one place. I took this shot while sitting inside the motorhome, parked in Valdez, from my lounge chair. In one shot, (below), I have four distinct Bald Eagles in the frame, with one more probable far off in the distance. I don’t like the quality of the picture, but getting four Bald Eagles in one frame is something I could not pass up sharing…especially since I was just sitting in my chair looking out the window.
We are staying three nights here at Valdez. We have already eaten at Old Town Burgers, and it was real good. I highly recommend the Clam Chowder Bread Bowl, and the Mushroom Bacon Swiss Burger…yes, had both, did not have lunch, and I am so stuffed! Marcia ordered a burger and bread bowl too…all of her burger came home!
For the rest of today’s travels, I will tell the story of today’s travels through pictures..
The sun, though 10 am in the morning, is still low on the horizon, playing havoc on the lens, so Black and White looks better than color.