Day 51: Buffalo Lake Access Point, Mendeltna, AK
Sunny and chilly.
We found out that the Stewart Highway was closed because of the fires hours after we passed through. We may have been stuck on the highway for who knows how long. The news story showed a photo of RVs camped on the road, with grills set up. We wouldn’t have minded that so much except for the smoke.
We pulled in to the main Visitor Center at Wrangell-St. Elias NP and were wowed by the statistics: this park is six times the size of Yellowstone and larger than Switzerland, with taller peaks.
We formulated a basic plan to spend many days here. Realizing we have 11 days left in Alaska before our ferry leaves, we consulted a map of Alaska to figure out where else we want to go in our remaining time.
We about-faced again and headed for Valdez, so as not to back-track if we saw Valdez after Wrangell-St. Elias.
Okay, Valdez is as pretty as everyone says. At least the drive to Valdez. We are surrounded by glacier-topped mountains.
We had lunch at a lovely spot,
then stopped at the Worthington Glacier and walked all around it. You can better understand how a glacier carves valleys by looking at it up close and watching the water and rocks fall away from it. It’s so difficult to understand the size of things. So much water runs from the moving and melting glacier you wonder why it hasn’t totally melted.
We drove into the town of Valdez and looked at the spot where Valdez used to be, before the earthquake and tsunamis of 1964, and wandered around the dockside at dusk.