Valdez is a pretty cool town. Situated on the shores of Prince William Sound, it’s surrounded by young mountains covered in glaciers. The original town (Old Valdez) was destroyed by the 1964 earthquake and a new town was built 10 miles down the road (New Valdez.) The town gets 300 inches of snow every winter and the surrounding mountains get 900 inches! Snow was a major factor in designing town. Most of the snow can be pushed into the sea; the rest is piled up in the center of town where there is a large green belt. Fishing is a big deal here; just yesterday a guy caught a Halibut weighing 363 pounds! This weekend was Gold Rush Days; we attended the town’s pancake breakfast and then went to the parade. Love these small town parades! Valdez is also where the 800+ mile Alaska Pipe line ends. Oil from the north slope gets shipped out by HUGE oil tankers to the lower 48 for refining. We watched a film on the earthquake yesterday; many towns were completely destroyed by the earthquake or the tsunami that followed. You can’t imagine the damage a 9.2 earthquake that lasted 5 MINUTES can do! In Anchorage whole sections of the city dropped 30 feet! And as if the earthquake wasn’t enough trouble for Valdez, there was the Exxon Valdez accident here in Prince William Sound. The more I talk to Alaskans, the more impressed I am with their toughness and resilience.