Sunday, September 25, 2011

Valdez Alaska

I had the privilege of attending a conference in Alaska this past week. It was the Alaska Museums/Alaska Historical Society Joint Annual Conference in Valdez. My Publisher, Donna, and I arrived in Valdez late Tuesday night after 17 hours of traveling. We woke early Wednesday morning a bit jet lagged and disoriented (truthfully hungover!) and ventured around this foggy harbor town.

That evening we embarked on the Opening Reception Glacier Cruise with other history enthusiasts (total geeks!). The delicious catered food, open bar and views of several waterfalls thoroughly impressed us. The fact that we didn't actually see a glacier on the glacier cruise unimpressed us.

On Thursday and Friday we attended the conference at the Valdez Convention and Civic Center where we accomplished our goal of making contacts with potential authors for our local history books. 

On Friday we had a little down time before heading to the airport so we took a drive to the Worthington Glacier because we refused to leave Alaska without seeing a glacier (giant ice cube!).  We also drove by countless waterfalls along the way but much to our disappointment we had no run-ins with any wildlife such as bear, moose, baby seals, penguins or huskies.     

We also got a great view of more glaciers from the airplane. I'm not sure what was more frightening—the rickety prop airplane ride to Anchorage or the fact that we didn't go through security to board this flight but the incredible views of the snow capped mountains and glaciers outweighed the fear (the cocktail named Northern Lights didn't hurt either!).  

We had a four hour layover in Anchorage so we ventured away from the airport to a bar called Humpy's where I met an old Newburyport High School friend for a couple of drinks. Steve and I graduated together over 20 years ago and we haven't seen each other since.  He's a pilot up in Anchorage now and if it wasn't for facebook our drinks, shared laughs and sarcasm would have never occurred some 4000 miles away from our home town all these years after high school. I love how facebook makes the world smaller (YEAT!).

After our quick Anchorage outing, we headed back to mainland America feeling lucky for our Alaska experience where the air is cold and fresh, the salmon is something I will talk about for the rest of my life, and the nature is for lack of a better word "breathtaking". We arrived back in Charleston yesterday afternoon feeling thankful for the sunshine, modern conveniences of the mainland and for the lack of camouflage, flannel and facial hair.

No comments: