Day 35, Wednesday, 5/23/18
Valdez, Alaska

After another fine breakfast at the Potato, we walked around town and checked out Ma Johnson's Hotel. In the mining days, the metal bed frames used to be in Kennecott at the hospital. Now they have been moved to the hotel! The McCarthy museum was open, so we spent some time there. We hate to say goodbye to this very special community of  McCarthy.

Glen and I took a short walk to the foot of the Kennecott glacier. Looking north, Root glacier lies to the right of Donoho mountain, with the Kennecott to the left. The path we took opened up to a large gravel field left by the receding glacier. There was a great view of the Stairway icefall.

At the edge of a small melt water lake, we could hear the glacier cracking and groaning. Every now and then, a chunk of iced would fall into the lake. We stood there for a while listening - eerily fascinating.

Kennecott Foot in the Distance
Stairway Icefall on Root
Small Lake from Melt
Ice wall
This was a short walk as we needed to get back to Valdez (Glen is a working man). Before we left, we saw road graders at work, an auspicious sign! Livvy took us down to the car! We sadly said goodbye to her and all the peace and quiet of McCarthy.

Just a few miles outside of McCarthy, we spotted as young eagle by a small lake.

Young Eagle
As we made our way toward Chitina, we crossed over the Kuskulana River Bridge at about mile 50 on the McCarthy Road. The bridge, built in 1911 for the railroad, stands 238 feet over the river. After the Kennecott mine was closed, the state later pulled up the tracks to allow foot and vehicle traffic. At that time there were no guard rails - a pretty hairy drive across!

Kuskulana River From the Bridge
238 Feet Down!

Wrangells in the Distance
Our way back followed the Chitina River with occasional breath-taking views of the Wrangells. The road was in better condition leaving than when we arrived. Our eyeballs weren't vibrating as much, letting us enjoy the view.

The road into Valdez took us through some of the Wrangells, and once again, Thompson's Pass. We didn't get into Valdez until 7:30 and missed having dinner at the Thai restaurant next to the Potato. So it was dinner at the Potato, some time chatting with Glen and Christine then off to bed in the van (parked in the Potato's parking lot.)

The Wrangell Range is impressive!

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