Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 64 – Old Valdez, Valdez Glacier & Salmon Run

The original town of Valdez was located four miles east of its present position and closer to Valdez Glacier. The Good Friday quake of 1964, the most destructive earthquake ever to hit south central Alaska, virtually destroyed Valdez. The earthquake was centered in Prince William Sound and measured 9.2 on the Richter scale. A series of local waves first emptied the harbor and left ships sitting on the harbor floor and then the harbor filled with a huge wave that engulfed the Valdez wharf taking 33 people with it.

After the quake, the Army Corp of Engineers determined that the town should be relocated. By late 1964 relocation was underway. By late August of 1968 the remaining residents of “Old Valdez” move to the new town.


Foundation of original Post Office in “Old Town”




The city lies on the north shore of Port Valdez named in1790 by Spanish explorer Don Salvador Fidalgo for Antonio Valdes y Basan, a Spanish Naval Officer.

Valdez was established in 1897 as a port of entry for gold seekers bound for the Klondike gold fields. The Valdez trail was especially dangerous as the first part led up over the Valdez Glacier, where early stampeders faced dangerous crevasses, snow blindness and exhaustion.

Due to the low hanging clouds and fog, I was unable to get any photographs of Valdez Glacier. I did get some footage of Valdez Glacier Lake at the base of the Glacier. The lake has chunks of ice floating in it that have broken off of the glacier.

The salmon have started their run at Solomon Gulch. You can see the salmon of them in the attached footage.


Young eagle waiting his chance for salmon


No comments: