"Let´s do a road trip together" said Patty, Therese, and Jenny (probably simultaneously), in the winter of 1998-99. "How about Alaska!", said Sean (who, I think, had been planning a trip there since he was in diapers...)

"Hmmm...." said Todd - not quite convinced, as always...

Coordinating the trip and getting to the point of buying tickets was a story in itself. I still think Sean and Therese were nuts to try and do this within weeks of their wedding, but Iīm glad we all managed to get a plan together and make it so.

Alaska, Anchorage to Valdez

The original plan involved a trip via ferry up the Inside Passage, with some kayaking, cabin camping, and other varieties of sight seeing - from Ketchikan to Glacier Bay. That was a great plan, but became more and more difficult to work out as we got closer to the deadline. As we planned the Inside Passage adventure we heard more and more about the section of Alaska around Prince William Sound and read about the Richardson Highway (from Anchorage to Valdez) - mostly from Jenny and Patty. In the end, we were all convinced and the Plan became a road trip from Anchorage to Valdez, stopping to camp and kayak along the way, then ferrying back to Whittier and up to Anchorage again.

thumbaps99090473097621 alaska, everyone with the van

We flew into Anchorage early in the morning on September 4th.  Rented a van at the airport, stayed in a hotel that night, and the next morning hit the Glenn Hwy, heading East.


View of the Matanuska Valley from the Glenn Highway


Matanuska Glacier


Our first real stop for sightseeing was the Matanuska Glacier, in the Matanuska Valley about half way between Anchorage and the town of GlennAllen.  The glacier is unique in that itīs one of the only that moves north rather than south, and access is owned by a private party.

We moved on from there to our overnight campsite at Lake Louise - a nice lake that may have itīs charms for fishermen, but as a campsite itīs not exactly the finest. We slept there just fine, but I canīt say Iīd be in a hurry to go back.


The following morning (the 5th) we started back on the road, and almost immediately spotted a moose. 

Or, I should say, our eagle-eyed wildlife spotter Jenny  spotted the moose - from the back of the van no less...


We spent the day seeing the sights along the Richardson Highway, working our way to Valdez.  Past the Worthington Glacier (go see Cal!) and Alaska Pipeline Pumping Station number 12, then into Valdez.


Valdez Bay


Sean climbing the rope up a portion of the trail to Valdez Glacier

Valdez grew up in the Alaskan gold rush and copper boom of the late 1800īs, then as a fishing village. 

Aside from being the site of an oil tanker accident in the 80´s, Valdez made it´s name as the northernmost ice-free harbor in Alaska. That distinction is the reason it was picked to be the southern terminus of the Alaskan pipeline. 

We arrived there, camped overnight (at the only mosquito-infested site of the trip...) then spent the next day around town.  We took an interesting hike towards the face of Valdez Glacier - never quite making it, but having a good time just the same.


Therese contemplating climbing the rope up a portion of the trail to Valdez Glacier..

That night we spent at a hotel - because we needed to be up at some ungodly early hour the next morning to join Kenny the Guide on a trip to Shoup Glacier.

Going to join us?