Catch of the Day
~Wednesday, July 13, 2022~
Day 23 of Alaska Trip
We are sooooo enjoying this more leisurely pace without the driving grind. However, we do have a moving day inside the RV park to site #77, a row back from our current primo location. The move was quick and painless. While setting things up, we met a really nice man from Wisconsin. Roger and his wife have been on the road since May with plans to return home by October. This is his 3rd time (stationed here in his Air Force days), his wife’s 1st in Alaska. He’s quite the outdoorsman, loving the fishing here in Valdez.
This city is full of beautiful scenery and amazing wildlife, more than we expected. I guess I just hadn’t heard enough about Valdez in terms of it being a “destination”. Evidently, it is one of the most beautiful spots in Alaska! Here are a few interesting facts about this famous fishing port:
There are fewer than 4,000 people that live here.
It’s the snowiest place in the U.S. 300-600 inches of snow per year. Nearby Thompson Pass receives 600 to 900 inches per year where snowflakes are the size of apples.
It is the southern terminus for the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline.
It is the activity center for Prince William Sound
On Monday, March 24th, 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, spewed 11 million gallons of crude oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound. Since then, no ship enters its ports with their company name on them.
On Good Friday, March 27, 1964, the largest earthquake ever to hit North America (9.2) struck Alaska, centered 45 miles west of Valdez. Sixty years ago, thirty-five lives were lost, many children, and over 60 children orphaned. Damage was around $15 million.
Hungry for a later lunch, we walked into town and stopped at the Nat-Shack for a delicious meal. This food truck is highly rated (a 4.9) with
the best halibut fish tacos I’ve ever had. It was a cold day to dine outside, but we came prepared. Enjoyed my chat with the owner, Natalie who is originally from Portland, OR. She and a partner own the property the food truck sits on, and lease out space to other food truck services. It’s a pretty neat set up. She’s lived in Valdez for 10 years, then heads to warmer pastures in the winter. This year, she hopes to see the East Coast after her wonderful experience seeing many of the national parks in The West last year. Of course I had a big list for her after our own experience.
After lunch we toured the Valdez Harbor area to check out the hundreds of boats (some for sale), and the activity that swirled around the sport fishermen’s latest
catch of the day. Valdez has adopted the practices set by Alaska Clean Harbors since 2010, which is a voluntary, non-regulatory program working throughout the state to help harbormasters, communities and boaters prevent pollution and reduce waste in their harbors and waterways. It’s a very dialed-in operation for sure! After the charters come in,
people just bring up their fish to the fish prep area where they filet and vacuum seal your catch for you. Fish are also weighed and measured. Any waste is sent to bins inside the harbor or are eaten by opportunist animals like eagles and seagulls for example. It was quite entertaining to watch. I think I’m catching the fishing bug which, if we do decide to go out on a charter, would be quite entertaining for our guide since I’ve never fished a day in my life. But how great would it be to eat our own Halibut fish tacos from our OWN catch!
Then we walked over to the Valdez Brewing Company, to try out a few local selections. With the weather pretty cold, we opted for inside……a very bright, cheerful atmosphere where you can watch the beer being made. Ultimately, Jeff gave the beer a 6 out of 10. But it was still a fun stop to see what the local breweries are doing.
When we got back to the campground, there was a hubbub of activity with people catching a glimpse of the resident black bear. Jeff and I still haven’t seen him, so hope to have an opportunity before we leave on Friday. What we DID see were 2 bald eagles flying right over our trailer….one trying to outfly a protective seagull mother. Of course they will do anything to protect their nest. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture this raucous on film.
In lieu of a dinner prep night (still full from those fish tacos), I enjoyed a nice phone call with my mom. Happy to hear things are going well except for her Apple computer issues which she hopes to remedy tomorrow with her Apple store visit. Crossing my fingers that it will be a speedy, painless fix.