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I have never been so happy to see a runway and town lights, as we were approaching Valdez, those lights beamed like fireworks through the fog. Historically a gold mining town, Valdez is now known for being the terminal to the massive crude oil Trans Alaska pipeline initiating in Prudhoe Bay (on the Northern shoreline of Alaska), which is a significant source of income for the town, as well as tourism and commercial fishing.
Another major historical event was the infamous 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, luckily the town has long recovered from this environmental tragedy, and all we see now are pristine landscape, waterfalls and mountains. For a town of just under 4,000 people and several dozen wild rabbits, Valdez is quiet yet incredibly charming in post- season October.
Jon and I celebrated our victorious first leg with a dinner of local Prince William Sound shrimp and other seafood at the local bar–the only place open that late in the off season. Luckily everything was pretty much walking distance so we got to see the whole “downtown” and beautiful harbor within just a few blocks walk.
Getting back into the airpot was a fun little game involving a math problem that went something like this: code is the heading coming from the east replace the zero for a one (don’t remember specific details) but it was a clever one. Little Delta was patiently waiting for us the next morning and the weather couldn’t have been better. A local pilot stopped by just to check in and make sure we were all good reminding me once again how much I love Alaskan hospitality. We got all the cameras mounted, did the pre flight, and off we go through Thompson Pass on our way to Cordova.
Being a tourist in my own
state is the BEST!!
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