Coloring the Void

living nomadically

Portage Valley

I’m still having computer problems – I learn of a new one every day. Unfortunately, in all the fixes, I lost two days worth of pictures. You will just have to trust me when I say that the drive down Turnagain Arm is breath-taking. And the Williwaw Campground is beautiful.

We made our way down Turnagain Arm slowly enough that we were able to watch the tide receding. The difference between high tide and low tide is pretty significant. The day was perfect – warm, sunny, not too windy and so it was definitely a day to dawdle.

We stayed at the Williwaw campground in Portage Valley where for $18 a night you get a dry camping site with a view: mountains, a glacier, some water falls, and if you are lucky, a moose or a bear.

moose

Mamma Moose and two kids. It was pouring rain so shot through the windshield. Forgive me.

There are tons of things to do in Portage Valley. We went to Girdwood and wandered around, ate in one of the restaurants. We checked out Portage Glacier and the Whittier Tunnel. We went to Hope to search for a future camping spot.  But, a lot of outdoor activities were canceled on our third day as the sky opened up and rain came down. The winds, gusting up to over 50 MPH, were so bad we had to turtle (close our slide) to spare our toppers. We even ran the generator. The temperatures were in the 30s. All in all, a pretty miserable day. But, we were surrounded by mountains and waterfalls (when we could see them) so we didn’t mind too much.

In the future, if we are going to stay in the Portage Valley, we will definitely check the weather first. The Valley is known as a wind tunnel, with winds twice as severe as what is seen in Girdwood, 15 miles away. It also rains frequently there, with a climate more like Whittier’s than Sewards. There are a couple of good boondocking sites on the Portage Glacier Highway;  we will try to return to on our way back through. I still haven’t had a chance to visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

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2 thoughts on “Portage Valley

  1. Having driven Turnagain Arm a couple of times, I know how beautiful that area is. I hope you have time to visit the AWCC … we enjoyed our visit both times we were there, and noticed a lot of improvements since our first visit in 2001.

    • I think, with the fires, we will have to skip over Sterling and Skilak Lake. Which means we have a couple of extra days to spend at AWCC and Portage, hopefully without the torrential rains this time!

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