Bill & Deanie's Trip To Alaska 2012

  July 9th July 10


     We weren’t in any hurry this morning and didn’t leave the Tolsona Wilderness Park until about 11am.  Once you turn at Glennallen onto the Richardson Hwy the ride is about the same as it was back in 2001, ROUGH!   I know if you were in a car you probably wouldn’t notice each of those indentions running across the road. We DO!  It was 45 mi per hr most of the way. 

     Hwy 4 is very scenic as are most of roads we've been on. Stopped for awile at Worthington Glacier.  No this was not named for Cal Worthington (for you CA and AZ folks ancient Cal and his son Cal are in Alaska advertising cars on TV everyday).

     Worthington Glacier is another place we visited in 2001.  It's hard to miss just off of the Richardson Highway.  So you are saying, ice is great in drinks and fun to look at, but what does it matter that the glaciers are melting? 

This was from a sign in front of Worthington Glacier:

"If you could fuse all the world’s glaciers together, their surface area would cover twice the area of the contiguous United States.  That’s more than enough ice to have a significant impact on the earth’s climate.

The glaciers, ice sheets and seasonal snow cover of the world are called the cryosphere.  It plays a major role in determining the earth’s weather.  The size of this massive frozen reservoir is controlled by temperature.  A change of only a couple of degrees would significantly alter the global climate.

Snow and ice reflect sunlight better than soil, rock, water and vegetation.  This means they have a higher albedo, or reflectance value.  When the climate cools, snow and ice coverage grows, raising the earth’s albedo and increasing the cryosphere.  Today, the average temperature is rising and the cryosphere is shrinking.  This reduces the earth’s albedo and exposes more heat-absorbing land, which further raises temperatures."

If this was a little too much science here'w “yellow book” version: ALL things are connected and when one of those things is altered, everything else is impacted, ie:  Less Glaciers on Earth = Higher Temperatures on Earth

We also stopped at Bridal Veil Falls in the canyon coming to Valdez.  Actually there are waterfalls everywhere along the canyon walls. Horsetail Falls is another big falls. The whole area is most impressive. 

Bear Paw Campground (tent and RV) is located right on the waterfront in Valdez.  We were fortunate to get a site right on the water in front of the small boat harbor, as all the fisherman had left after the big Independance Day week.


July 9th Tolsona Wilderness Campground to Bear Paws Campground, Valdez, AK.
View Larger Map

(If you don't see the "blue line" grab the map and pull it to the left or right and the line will appear - Also the little minus on the left side zooms you out and the plus zooms you in)  

If you would like to see for yourself what we are seeing, click on the "view Larger Map".  Then go to the street view and get a 360 deg view of the roads we are traveling.  I love that feature!



This is my "nostalgia" bird.  I found a picture labeled "red bird" in our 2001 pictures.  When I checked I also found it was taken at exactly the same turnout  11 years ago!   Same place, different bird?  Why are they feeding on the ground there, there's nothing but gravel?  This one stuck around until I scared it off trying to get really close.
 Worthington Glacier.   Different from when we saw it in 2001?
2001  More height and more width.
2001 water falls on right are really dramatic.
This is the pond below Worthington Glacier that starting forming in the 1950's.
More views along the Richardson Highway.  I suspect the snow there is a more than normal.
A few Black & Whites taken here in the harbor.
Fishing boats are everywhere.
This was taken about 11pm out our back window.
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