Valdez to Chitina

Thursday, July 23, 2009
Chitina, Alaska, United States
Stopped constantly on the drive up the Richardson Highway. The day we drove down was hazy, and we were going to go back to take pictures when it was a clearer day; however, it got rainy and cloudier. So today we are taking pictures in the rain!

This is one of the most scenic places in Alaska. One good thing about rain is it produces beautiful waterfalls, and we sure saw lots of them today. Stopped at every scenic viewpoint listed in the Milepost. It took us four hours to drive 90 miles.

The campground had electric only; the other people in the campground were Alaskans here dip-net fishing. After plugging in the RV, we drove the Edgerton Hwy to Chitina. On the way, saw two foxes in a field--with the binoculars; really beautiful amber color with big fluffy whitish tails.  

Before getting to Chitina, there were awesome views of the Copper River Valley and three small pretty lakes right next to the road: Three-Mile Lake, Two-Mile, and (you guessed it) One-Mile Lake.

Chitina is an extremely small town; it's Alaska’s dip-netting capital. To get to the river where this is done, we drove through the town and through the opening cut into the mountain to the Copper River bridge.  

Only Alaskans can have fishwheels and can dip-net for salmon. The fishwheels are on the left side of the bridge so we drove across the rocky river bed to see the fishwheels on the river’s edge. Each one is unique and it was really interesting to see them operating; didn’t see any fish in them though.

On the other side of the bridge, there were people dip-netting. The river was quite far from the road; however, we could see what they were doing with our binoculars. The pole for the net must be 20-25’ long. Saw them net a very large salmon. The river flows extremely fast, and it looked like you really needed muscles to maneuver the net.  

It was definitely worth the drive to see this; it's "real" Alaska! 
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2020-04-09