Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Valdez, Alaska August 4, 2013 continued

When we got to Valdez, we went into the Visitor Center. We found out that we had got here in time for Gold Rush Days. There was to be a parade at 3:00. We got set up in the campground by 2:00 and decided to go get a place where we could park the truck to see the parade. We had almost an hour till it started, so we went across the street to a gift shop. At the gift shop they played a video about the 1964 earthquake and the resulting tsunami that followed the quake and all the destruction in Alaska following them. Valdez was wiped out by the tsunami, as was part of Anchorage. It told about the fires and deaths in Alaska. It must have been very devastating.

Cindy had to take a picture of my haul.

We then went back to our truck to see the parade. Throughout the parade, people were throwing candy for the kids, who had all brought bags to get candy. I guess I’m just an older kid at heart, because I got my haul of candy.

Part of the entertainment.

After the parade, there was a free fish fry down by the ferry terminal. When we got there a line was already formed and we had to wait a while, but the fish was very good, and well worth the wait. There was as much fish and hot dogs as you could eat. While we ate, we were entertained by an Elvis impersonator. He did a very good job.

Pretty good Elvis music.

The end of the Alaska pipeline.

After the meal, there was what they called a float or sink boat race. The boats were all made from cardboard and duct tape, which were part of the rules. The first groups of kids to go were the younger ones and they only had to go half-way on the pond and then come into the bank. Some of them did quite well, while others didn't do so well. None of them got wet, but some took a long time to get to shore.

This little girl looks very worried but they made it.

Oops, Ellie didn't make it.

This little boy really moved fast.

She made it with a little help.

The next groups of kids had to go all the way across the pond, and we wondered why they waited so long to get going. We finally found out that they were waiting for two coast guard men and their kayaks to come and watch the kids, so nothing happened to them. Some of the boats didn't even get off the starting line before they sunk, getting the older kids wet. The coast guard men had to rescue quite a few of the kids and take them to shore. They all were wearing life jackets so they wouldn't drown. One little girl was taking so long that one of the coast guard men helped push her into the shore. It was a lot of fun to watch and hear the crowd cheer on the kids. One of the boats had a little girl in front to watch, while an older girl paddled. I felt sorry for the littlest girl because she acted scared to death the whole way, but they made it OK. The fastest one was made to look like a canoe and the boy really knew how to use the paddle.

We enjoyed our afternoon. Thanks for visiting.

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