Author Archives: Lee

Ode to the Fall

Fall is in the air in Valdez, Alaska. Devil club leaves are turning burnt orange, the mornings are crisp, and the blueberries are everywhere. Though the commercial fishing boats are trudging into the harbor, there is still a plethura of salmon in all of the streams. A new guide favorite seems to be pulling into these salmon streams, getting out of the kayaks, and seeing who can catch the slippery salmon in their hands. Our winner this past week was an eight year old boy who caught two! It also seems that with less commercial fishing boats in Valdez Port and Valdez Narrows, the whale sightings are a more common occurance again (like they were in the Spring). Yesterday the boat coming back from the Columbia Glacier trip saw a pod of Orcas hunting Doll Porpoise. Though not witnessed, a frothy pool of blood seemed to indicate a successful kill for the Orcas.   With the seasons change comes these new sights, adventures, and appreciations. Cheers to the stars that are once again appearing in the sky, the guides who are putting a new season of guiding knowledge under their belts, and the brand new T-shirts that we just received a shipment of.

Cheers,

Kira

Hey Friends!

Hello All,

Well the summer is in full swing here in Alaska. The salmon boats are cluttering the bay, the harbor is a hub of activity. The proccessors are hard at work. The poppies have gone by, but the fireweed has set the hills ablaze. We here at Anadyr are also hard at work, creating the best once in a lifetime kayak experiences available! From the office to the field we seek to provide excellent customer service and 100% satisfaction. If you have a question or comment that you would like have answered or addressed please be sure to send us an email at anadyradventures@gmail.com!

We currently have lots of space available for August and September! We look forward to seeing you on your next great adventure!

From the office,

Cal at Anadyr

Seven days Lodging in Prince William Sound

One of the many trips we offer is kayaking everyday while staying in comfort at Prince William Sound Lodge. This is the trip that two wonderful Aussies signed up for, and I was lucky enough to join them as their guide. Seven days seems long , but time passes quick when you’re having fun!  Here’s how we spent each day:

View from our third day on Sunny Cove

View from our third day on Sunny Cove

Day 1-Glacier Island:  Picked up Sharon and Philip from the airport.  They were a bit groggy from an early morning but we remedied that by loading them onto our water taxi and heading out to Glacier Island.  After our paddle and safety talk, we paddled alongside the rocky shore.  The tide was low making it a prime viewing time for colorful star fish, sun stars, anemone, and other wonders.  A group of sea lions challenged the two for a ‘race’ and we quickly learned that sea lions are hard to keep up with.  Lunch was served on Whale Rider Beach and then we headed off again.  This time we spotted  a humpback ahead of us, so we rafted close together for good viewing.  It led us to the sea lion haul out where hundreds of steller sea lions battle for the best spot to hang on the rocks.  If  you think you’re singing is bad, wait till you hear these guys!  We got dropped off at PWS lodge where we met our lovely host Chris that night.  He has a flare for cooking delicious, healthy meals and had clearly put a lot of love into everything we ate there.  It was an early night in a clean place with comfortable beds.

View from PWS Lodge deck at low tide

View from PWS Lodge deck at low tide

Wild Iris's were EVERYWHERE

Wild Iris’s were EVERYWHERE

Day 2-Tatitlek Village: Woke up to  fresh fruit, oats, a beautiful view, and a morning run with Philip on back roads!  With ample sunlight in our favor, we took our time this morning and enjoyed good tea and each others company.  We left the lodge around 11:00am and headed 2 miles South to the native village of Tatitlek. Unfortunately a permit is required to get out of the boats here, but it was lovely to paddle past this remote town that had just renovated its Russian Orthodox Church.  We rounded the corner for a view of Copper Mountains epic peak, then crossed over behind a couple island for lunch.  Lucky to have dry skies and wood, we decided to have a fire with lunch (this trend lasted all week!)  We then hiked up a meadow of wildflowers and found a calm pond filled with lily pads.  After re-creating a few of the spin scenes from Sound of Music we hiked down and paddled on-into a little creek and then past a raft of sleeping otters to our home base and a Salmon dinner.

 

Calm lily pad pond at the top of a small hike

Calm lily pad pond at the top of a small hike

Lunch around a cozy fire on the beach

Lunch around a cozy fire on the beach

Day 3-Sunny Cove:  We got picked up by Lee (our water taxi captain) who took us to the  calm waters of Sunny Cove.  The only sign of human life here was an abandoned float home.  We paddled around the cove in the AM, admiring distant mountain peaks and long waterfalls.  Chris’s lunches of delicious sandwiches and salads filled our belly around the fire and then we paddled into the back marshes.  As the tide was now coming in and getting into the pockets of air from low tide we were amazed at how many bubbles surrounded us!  It sounded like snap crackle pop, and we floated here for a long time while counting 15 eagles.  Once out of the bubbles we had a brown bear sighting!  It was a ways away so we felt safe, and were grateful for our binoculars as we stared long and hard at the magnificent creature.  Happy Solstice!

Kayaking the placid waters of Sunny Cove

Kayaking the placid waters of Sunny Cove

Day 4-West Bay: Paddled West of PWS Lodge and found ourselves in a large bay with views that made us feel so tiny compared to the rest of the world!  Philip did some fly fishing while Sharon and I made some beach art.  We climbed a hill to get a good look of our cabin and had fun watching the artic turns chase the seagulls around.  The paddle back was on water that was a spectacular shade of silver.  We saw a few loons, cormorants, and lots of otters.

Sea Otters on our paddle back!

Sea Otters on our paddle back!

Sunset on the beach from the lodge

Sunset on the beach from the lodge

Day 5-Galena Bay:  Galena bay was one of my favorites with its clear waters, a skinny paddle through, and secret lagoon.  Unfortunately the three of us like to sing loudly and poorly, which we believe may have scared off a lone wolf that we saw in the distance.  A rare sighting in this area.  This back lagoon had a magical feeling and our slow strokes were perfect for how long we spent just staring every which way.  Came back to Chris’s for an appetizer of mussels that we had harvested on the beach the previous day, another amazing meal (halibut, roasted veggies, fresh garden salad) was served followed by some well deserved R and R.

One of the hundreds of starfish we paddled alongside this day.  We even found a paddle through in this area!

One of the hundreds of starfish we paddled alongside this day. We even found a paddle through in this area!

Clear, clear waters of Galena Bay

Goofing off with insect masks on Galena bays clear waters.

Day 6-Landlocked Bay:  Chris, the owner of PWS Lodge, was kind enough to bring us out to landlocked bay this day!  We got a great ride in his old wooden boat and trudged along to a black sand beach for smokies over the fire.  Today was HOT so I went for a swim, but no one else seemed keen to jump into the Pacific’s refreshing waters.  Too cold?  Paddling onwards we saw pale blue spots in the water.  We soon found out these areas had thousands of Moon Jelly fish in them.  It was beautiful gliding over top of them as they stretched down to the oceans floor beneath us.  Chris showed us a secret passage to another secret lagoon.  Paddling back to his boat we witnessed hundreds of Dog/Chum Salmon swimming up a nearby stream.  This was a wonderful day, though it was a bit sad spending our last night all together!

Paddling through the old dock at Ellemar-dodging bird poop

Paddling through the old dock at Ellemar-dodging bird poop

Smoked Sausage over the fire at black sand beach overlooking Chris's boat

Smoked Sausage over the fire at black sand beach overlooking Chris’s boat

Day 7-Columbia Glacier:  Lee picked us up for our last day at Columbia Glacier.  The icebergs were out in full force this morning and we saw some really great shapes in them:  whales, lobsters, witches hats etc.    We ate lunch on the moraine staring at the specks of blue ice dotting the ocean to the terminus of the glacier and then paddled to a magical waterfall for our final send off.  The day ended too fast.  Arriving back in Valdez we transferred all of their bags into the van and I dropped them off at the airport amidst hugs and promises of future adventures.

 

Have fun in Vegas Sharon and Phillip, aka CC Otter and DJ Lipz, until our next adventure together!  xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Kira D-Spins

Mysteries of Prince William Sound

I am sitting outside our office watching seagulls chase a great bald eagle. Isn’t the eagle bigger, faster, and probably smarter then those seagulls? Why does it not just spread its wings wider and leave the babbling birds in its dust? Why do harbor seals like to chase our kayaks around? How did that giant iceberg at Valdez Glacier Lake move from the back end of the lake to the middle over night? What flowers will be in bloom after all the deep purple shooting star flowers fade from a meadow near Columbia Glacier? These are the mysteries that I love most about Prince William Sound, and one of many reasons I so greatly enjoy kayaking with new folk around this beautiful area.

May has passed by in the blink of an eye, and now June is bringing new smells, flowers, animals and mysteries. The sun is out in full force this afternoon and the Water Taxi from Columbia Glaciers trip is pulling up to the dock with smiles on everyones face right now. Did the man who really, really, really wanted to see a whale get to see a whale today?! I hope so! I hope that eagle gets some respite from the seagulls and that the sea otters will be waving at us tomorrow, just as they have been every day this week. If you come out I hope you create some mysteries for yourself!

Cheers from Kira

What to Do in Valdez-Trails to explore

Lush, scenic and well maintained trails provide ample opportunity to fill in the gaps between  tours during your Valdez visit.  Pack a lunch and make a day out of catching some of these trails and you will surely understand why we live in and explore this special little mountain town.  Whether adventuring by foot or bicycle, the office staff at Anadyr is happy to suggest appropriate trails for your group and time frame.  Stop by any day of the week!

An Easy 20 minutes. The trail head is located just at the end of Norht Harbor Drive, right in town!

Easy with a great view of the east end of Valdez Bay. The trail head is located just at the end of North Harbor Drive (just passing our shop) right in town!

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Columbia Glacier Day Trip 6/20/14

On a day with a forecast of “100% chance of rain” we enjoyed hours of paddling, a sun that peeked through a cloudy sky, stunning sights and sounds, and a great guided tour of Columbia Glacier. This trip is not to be missed during a Valdez visit!!

Our day started with a lovely scenic cruise through the magnificent Prince William Sound.  Aboard the Alcyon, I was able to snap a few shots of some pretty up close and personal Humpback whale watching by those on fellow Anadyr water taxi, the Bluff Watch.

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What to do in Valdez

This small town offers big adventure year round, and by land or sea Valdez boasts unparalleled access to Alaska’s most spectacular landscapes, wildlife and outdoor activities. Nestled between the impressive Chugach Mountains and the stunning Prince William Sound, Valdez accommodates any type of traveller from the waterman to the explorer to the casual sightseer.  This special place should retain a spot on everyone’s Alaskan itinterary, and we will continue to supply you with the many exciting reasons why.

Bike & Hike to Solomon Gulch

This week I took the bike path heading out of town and headed to Solomon Gulch, located just across the port of Valdez. About 22 miles round trip and full of perfect photo ops, this is an ideal way to spend a sunny afternoon outdoors.

Valdez Glacier Stream

Valdez Glacier Stream

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The only time Anadyr guide Ilene Price is serious is when she’s on a bicycle

Our first stop was at the fish hatchery where 230 million Pink Salmon eggs and 2 million Coho salmon eggs are incubated annually.  Its not difficult to imagine that from July through September this is a great spot to catch a view of otters, eagles, gulls and bears who come here to feast.

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Solomon Gulch

 

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Nesting Kittiwakes

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View of Valdez from across the bay at very low tide

After snapping a few photos and checking out the city of Valdez from afar, we headed up the road to hike the John Hunter Memorial Trail.  This is a piece-of-cake, lush 3.8 miles of gravel trail out and back.  Small bridges brought us over flowing streams that looked and sounded serene.  A few simple climbs brought us to beautiful views of the Chugach range.  Arriving at the reservoir was impressive, with various shades of blue and green melding into eachother where the sky, mountains, and water met.

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The ride back into town brought us directly to the dinner table!  A hot sake toast was the perfect end to an epic 6 hour excursion.

We rent great all terrain bikes (Giant & Trek!) at Anadyr.   Grab your packs and lunch and head across the bay for an afternoon of adventure and sightseeing while you’re here in Valdez.

Sara, Anadyr Adventures Office Staff