Monday, August 27, 2012

Valdez, day 1

We drove into Valdez in rain and fog, but did not let the weather dampen our spirits. After setting up in a campground, we headed out to the Salmon Hatchery to see who was fishing.
 A gazillion salmon were swarming outside the entrance to Solomon Gulch.
 This weir prevents them from getting there.
 Solomon Gulch is where they're trying to go to spawn.
Salmon struggling to get past the weir.
 Instead, the weir directs the fish into the hatchery where their eggs are removed as this sign explained.
So who is fishing at the salmon hatchery? People are...
 And harbor seals.
 I like this photo of the salmon poking his head out to see his predators.
 Lots of gulls were waiting to take advantage of discarded salmon parts.
 These are Kittiwakes. The spotted one is a juvenile.
 Otters are fishing here too,
 bald eagles,
 and bears!
We also visited Crooked Creek where the salmon were spawning naturally.
 They have a live underwater camera where you can watch the salmon. spawning process.
 You can also watch them from above on a viewing platform.
 They really work hard to get upstream.
 Across from the Visitor's Center is a bald eagle nest with two fledglings.
 Then we returned to the Little LuluBelle RV park. Our RV friend Beth is living here and working on the Glacier Wildlife Cruise boat this summer. 
It was about time for the LuluBelle to return to port, so Birdie and I walked down to the harbor to meet it.
 Beth was so busy doing her job that she never noticed we were watching her work.
 Want to watch too? First they put the cushions away.
Then all the windows have to be cleaned for tomorrow's cruise. Do a good job, Beth, cause I might be looking out that window tomorrow. She was so busy we didn't disturb her and waited for her at the campground.
 When she got off work, Beth and Peaches took us on a hike on the Dock Point trail.
 We could see the terminal of the Alaska Pipeline across the bay.
 Beth and Peaches
We learned about skunk cabbage.
 Beth said when she arrived in May they all had these yellow blooms.
 We walked by the boat harbor.
 Fish cleaning area.
 When the boats need to come out of the water for maintenance or repairs, they use this boat lift.
Next time I'll tell you about my tour on the LuluBelle. And yes, the sky was clearing, yay!


  1. What a great post. Glad to see that some of the salmon get to do their thing naturally. That was some fog at the beginning, glad it cleared up for you.

  2. Loved the pic of the salmon poking his head up to see his predators. Funny!