We sure avoid touristy things like the plague. The whole vibe of our trip is just to see the beautiful sites and spend time in nature, but now that we’ve checked off all the major goals of our trip in the arctic and have started working our way south, we thought we’d duck into a few more well-known Alaskan destinations. Interestingly, we ended up liking the Valdez area a lot. It’s a really great setting and the drive south into the Valdez area is super pretty. Like always, we avoided the crazy congested organized camp areas and we were able to find really nice primitive camping in some remote spots along the area.
The truck has been running really solid, but we did pick up a screw in one of our back tires some place along the Denali Highway. It was holding air, but we decided to do a quick tire swap with our spare while we had the chance. It was no big deal and the whole thing took less than an hour.
We’ve been getting in a lot more hiking lately. It feels good to get out and stretch our legs. Despite how much we liked being up in the arctic, we never found places we felt very comfortable going for a hike. We found a nice mining road near Valdez that gave us a good 5-mile hike for a few nights in a row. We also met a really nice family that is gold mining up there. A few nights later we shared a camp spot with a super friendly French couple that drove up from Patagonia in their Inveco. So far, their trip has taken them 3 years. We’ve run into a lot of great people in our travels.
We also helped out a young guy that got a little over zealous and drove his FJ Cruiser halfway off a cliff, but that’s a story for another time.
Anyway, the Valdez area is beautiful and was a nice addition to our trip. There were a lot of salmon running while we were in Valdez, so that was cool to see. And we got some better underwater pictures this time (with permission and supervision from local forest rangers)!