OK, I've seen Valdez. I'd appreciate it more if it would stop raining, but the drive through the mountains alone was worth the trip.
On a side note, Valdez has numerous bars but I only hit three--the Landshark, the Pipeline Club, and the Board Room. Such a refreshing change from places like Talkeetna that were filled with hippie kids. These places catered exclusively to locals--fishermen and oil workers. No "hip hop" noise or funky lighting here. Real people were unwinding after doing real work and I was welcomed into several games of darts (I suck) and learned more than a bit about commerical fishing. I like these people. These folks are real America such as one seldom gets to see back in the DC area. "Obama" is almost a profanity here and Sarah Palin is much beloved. I'll look back on Valdez with affection, but now I'm heading back north...and perhaps east. I'll figure it out when my headache goes away.
Best moment: asking hotel desk gal for some duct tape to fix a tear in my leg. She looked puzzled and said that she had a first aid kit if I wanted a bandage. But I explained that duct tape works much better on the neoprene sleeve that holds my leg on, snd this being Alaska, she had a roll right behind the counter.