Days 7-8


 Our Copper Center and Valdez Pictures, Day 7-8

We drove eastward over 300 miles from Seward to Copper Center where we stayed at the Princess Wilderness Lodge. The next day was spent following the Alaska Pipeline to its terminus in the port city of Valdez.
We drove north across the Kenai and back thru Anchorage on the way to Copper Center near Wrangell-St.Elias National Park.
More beautiful Kenai scenery, only this time in the sun.
We stopped and visited the Portage Valley. Mike saw this glacier when he was a boy and wanted to visit it again. It has receded dramatically, possibly due to global warming.
There are several glaciers in the Portage Valley.
We drove thru the Matanuska Valley to Copper Center where we have two nights at the Princess Lodge.
Gas is expensive here! We took this picture for Kathie's dad, "Big Daddy", who checks the price of gas at least 3 times daily.
Kathie finally helped (took over?) post the pictures for this page. It's about 11:30 p.m. Alaska time. (Big far as we know, the price of gas hasn't changed since we checked it for you earlier this afternoon).
We worked in the lobby of the hotel where we had wireless internet access. Kathie has decided this is what the living room of our next house will look like after Mike gets a big raise.
We finished working on the page at about midnight, then went outside to take this picture. Alaska....."Land of the Midnight Sun". The longest day of the year will come while we are on the cruise during the last week of our trip.
Saturday morning we began a drive to Valdez for the day. Our route followed the Trans-Alaska pipeline. The pipeline runs 800 miles from the North Slope to Valdez. It was built in 3 years (1974-1977), and transports 1.5 million barrels of oil per day. Here's a shot of Kathie as we check it out.
Kathie views the mountains of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in the distance at one of the many scenic pull-outs along the road.
This glacier hung above the road as we passed thru the Chugach Mountains. We have about 100 more shots of this if you're interested.
Alaska seems to include scenery for everything! Kathie has locked herself inside this small building for some reason.
We passed Worthington Glacier near Thompson Pass as we continued to Valdez. Mike is practicing the  "Cool Pose" Donnie has been trying to teach him. Is it hopeless? What do you think?
Once over the pass we got a brand new view. It's all downhill to Valdez from here.
Another glacier above the road as we look back at the pass.
Horseshoe falls in Keystone Canyon.
Once in Valdez we hiked to a scenic overlook to view the harbor. Valdez is the terminus of the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline, and the site of the 1989 "Exxon Valdez" oil spill. There were a couple of super-tankers being loaded while we watched. It takes 131 hours for the oil to travel to Valdez from the North Slope. It takes about 18 hours to fill the tankers.
Another shot from the look-out above Valdez. The harbor is surrounded by snow-covered peaks of 3 different mountain ranges. It looked like Switzerland, and was the most beautiful place we've seen so far.
If you need to do laundry, you might as well do it in Paradise!
Here is a shot of the marina at Valdez. The area continues to recover from the oil spill. 
The breathtaking scenery of the town made it well worth the long drive.
Bald Eagles circled above us while we ate pizza at "Mike's Palace" restaurant. We also saw sea otters and moose today.
Kathie poses for another shot at the marina.
We stayed longer than we planned because of the beautiful setting.
One more shot before we hit the road.
Back at the lodge in Copper Center. We took this shot at 10:30 p.m. We had a most EXCELLENT day, then posted these pictures for you. Tomorrow we head to Denali National Park where we'll spend the next 5 nights.

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