Day 36, Thursday, 5/24/18
Tok, Alaska

Today, we woke early to tour around Valdez. We walked the docks in the small boat harbor, then borrowed Glen's truck and drove out to a small beach about 2 miles west of town. It was a short walk to the beach (bear spray in the back pocket and occasionally yelling 'yo bear!') The beach looks out to the mountains that surround Valdez and the port. Though we didn't see it, there's a large glacier further west that once terminated at tidewater in Shoup Bay. It's retreating and is currently over a mile from the bay.

Small Boat Harbor
Rocky Beach
Surrounded by Mountains

From the beach, we drove back into town and stopped at the Valdez Museum. The museum has an interesting history of the 'Gold Rush of 1898'. It was a hoax promoted by steamship companies that drew over 4,000 people to the area. The museum also had an exhibit about the Good Friday  earthquake that hit Alaska in 1964. The town was destroyed by both earthquake and a series of and seiches (waves). Because the ground was deemed unstable, it was moved to a new location.

Back at the Potato, it was a bitter sweet moment as we said our goodbyes to Glen and the staff and left for Tok. It was time to start working our way back to Maine.

For the last time (this trip), it was over Thompson Pass. and Richardson Highway.

In 2014, there was a massive slide east of the town in Keystone Canyon that put 50 feet of snow and debris in the road. It also blocked the Lowe River forming a large ice lake. Dubbed the 'damalanche' by locals, the town was cut off from the Richardson Highway (only road in or out of Valdez) for 13 days.

Thompson Pass
View of Copper River (I think)

We weren't planning to go to Tok, but ended up there anyways. On the way, there were great views of the Wrangell Mountains!

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