Bonkoski's Alaskan Trip Journal 2008 travel blog

Both motorhomes in the Eagles Nest RV Park in Valdez. Waterfalls, directly...

Enjoying one our many dinners outdoors, in Valdez

A view from the rear of the Alfa looking at the mountains...

A view of the park in Valdez

A view of the harbor in Valdez

Fishing near Allison Point, off the Valdez Harbor

Rob, with his first cast, first fish

One cast only!

Commerical fishing boats going for the same pink salmon we were trying...

End of the road at the Valdez Terminal for the pipeline

The end for the apprx. 800 mile journey of the pipeline coming...

A small fishing boat in the Valdez harbor fishing for pink salmon

Rob, putting another pink in the cooler

Larry trying to catch yet another pink salmon

An eagle that I spotted while on my way back to town

The waterfalls right at the "bear crossing" near the fish hatchery in...

Keystone Canyon, and the Lower River

Bridal Veil Falls in Keystone Canyon; near Valdez

A motorhome stop for a kodak moment near the falls in Keystone...

My photo of "what ever" type of flower along the Rower River...

Another attempt of mine for a great shot

The "fish" in Valdez; know for it's salmon fishing

A cafe that had great halibut sandwiches and clam chowder

The Prince William Sound Community College in Valdez

Their catch of pinks at the cleaning station at the RV Park

Larry and Bob cleaning the pinks at the cleaning station


Valdez has certainly seen its bout of disasters! In 1964, the biggest earthquake ever recorded of 9.2 , lasting almost 5 minutes, struck 45 miles west of Valdez. The quake triggered an underwater landslide creating tremendous tidal waves that washed away the Valdez waterfront, drowning 30 people on the dock , mostly children, and 3 men on the steamer “Chena”. They rebuilt the town in 1968, after deciding to move Valdez 4 miles away from the original site, and off the now know vault line. 1989, March 24th (Good Friday), the tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef, approximately 25 miles outside of Valdez in the Prince William Sound, causing the largest oil spill in North America history.

It was now the 5th of July, we had traveled over 4,000 miles, and we were in a Valdez campground for what was to be a total of five nights. The boys had the tent set up in a “tenting only” area, which was nice for all of us! We had decided to check out what the town of Valdez had to offer; many fishing vessels, some charters, and a few commercial type sightseeing boats that traveled to view nearby glaciers and wildlife in Prince William Sound. There were an abundant number of RV’s in town; there to catch the salmon that were also as abundant. The mountains directly behind us, offered steep waterfalls, lush forests, and cloud covered peaks. Grizzly’s were in the area, but not a danger to us in town.

This Saturdays dinner was planned for a feast of sockeye salmon and Dungeness crab, that we bought off the boats while still in Haines. Another night of salmon did not disappoint us, at all! Directly cooked on our grill, flavored with alittle garlic powder and Cajun seasonings, we enjoyed every bite.

The next three days brought rain. Although it did not stop Bob, Rob and Larry from fishing from the shore for salmon at Allison Pointe. The finger of land spitting out in Prince William Sound, and encompassing Valdez Harbor, was also the final stopping point for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the fish hatchery, and home to many of the area’s grizzly bears. The first day of fishing was a catch of 12 nice sized pink salmon, from 4-7 pounds each. Bob and Larry cleaned them at the campgrounds fish cleaning station and I vacuumed packed them for our future dinners.

The second time out of shore fishing, I decided to go and fish for the first time. (Jacob still has not decided to fish because he feels that $245 bucks for a license is too much for Bob to have to pay; however, Bob has been very willing to do so. Maybe when we reach the Kenai Peninsular, Jake states). It wasn’t raining when we left the motor homes, but against the weather forecasters prediction, it started to drizzle. It was low tide, the appropriate time to fish from shore, and wet and damp. The harbor was spotted with commercial fishing boats looking to net all they could, while we fished from the murky and rocky shoreline with pixie lures, for one salmon at a time. Immediately upon arrival in this noted fishing spot, Rob lands a fish on his first cast. Not sure of the size, but definitely worth the keep. I was next in line to bring up my first fish in Alaska. Another nice pink salmon. Then, as fish do, they stopped biting and it began to rain harder. I had enough in that particular spot and with the rain. Darlene and I traveled up Allison Pte. Rd. as far as possible. It dead ends right into the waterfront pipeline terminal. The fishermen there looked busy reeling in their catches so I insisted the guys move and try their luck there. Bob did thank me for the move, after the 13th fish in a short time.

That nights dinner was extremely special…not of the salmon that were caught by the Bonkoski’s of the past two days, but the feast of steaks and Alaskan King Crab that came directly from Dutch Harbor in the Aluetian Islands of Alaska! Jacob said it was crime that we were eating so well!

We would have had possibly adventured on a wild raft trip of the Lowe River and through the Keystone Canyon, however, the rain kept us from participating. We decided to hold off on rafting until the Kenai or Denali!




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