Sunday, May 11

Valdez

It seems like forever ago already, but really it was just a week ago that I was in Valdez.  We have had a marathon of a couple of weeks here.  Scott flew out on a midnight flight on April 24 to take care of some city business in Bellingham and Anacortes.  He also visited friends in Gig Harbor and friends & family in Battle Ground and Washougal over the weekend.  He arrived back in Anchorage the afternoon of April 29.  I flew out that evening to Valdez for several days of meetings and flew home the evening of May 2.  We celebrated Scott's birthday on May 3 and the girls and I packed for a week of school floor camping.  Scott took his mom to the airport on the morning of May 4 and the girls and I left on a boat later that morning.  We arrived home yesterday afternoon around 1.  Whew.  So for the first time since April 24 we have all been home in the same house for almost 24 hours now!  Yipee!

So Valdez.  The kids and I visited Valdez a few years ago in the fall with Scott's mom.  We had a lovely trip, but the girls were small and were not able to walk long distances.  This time I was solo and had a rigorous meeting schedule, but was able to explore a bit.  It was a beautiful flight in...once it finally took off!  I actually spent longer driving to the airport than I did in the air.  I also spent more time waiting at the airport for my delayed flight than I did in the air!  I was one of the lucky ones who got my baggage that same night though, so I will not complain.  Apparently folks on our flight had lots of heavy luggage because they had to pull 18 bags.  From a flight with only 37 seats, that's a fairly high percentage!  Here are some glaciers from the sky...


Just for fun I took this picture of the baggage claim area of the Valdez airport...


That belt looks longer in the picture than it is in real life.  It made me laugh...it would probably be just as fast if they drove the trailer up and you just grabbed your bags off it it...or if you just grabbed them from the conveyor as they unloaded them from the plane!

Our meeting group also got to tour the Valdez Marine Terminal where oil tankers are loaded with crude oil from the north slope from the Alyeska pipeline.  Here's an iPhone panoramic shot from the pavilion on the hill above the terminal.  It was a very informative tour...there is so much that goes on there!


One of the highlights of the trip was my visit to their museum.  You know me...I love museums!  Valdez's museum covers their early history, earth quake history, and oil spill history.  I really learned a lot touring the facility...and came home with some new books, too!



The day I left it was 70 degrees.  In May!  Practically unheard of around here!!


Flying home was just as pretty!  It was a great trip...next time I meet with this group we'll be in Homer in September.  That promises to be beautiful!

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