Whittier

Whittier

Last updated 08/06/2008

We had no idea what was in Whittier. It sounded quaint. Whittier is perched on the tip of Prince William Sound and is just barely accessible to the rest of the world. We cheerfully paid our $12 fee to go through the 2 1/2 mile tunnel to Whittier. This tunnel, by the way, is one way and is shared with the Alaskan Railroad. In fact, the roadway is the railroad track. Drivers can enter Whittier on the hour and leave on the half hour. All bets are off when the train comes through.

When we got there, we found little more than a huge parking lot at the end of the long tunnel. This was the one day of the trip that it was raining, so we weren't eager to scout out the area on foot. Although a few buildings dotted the base of the mountains towering over Whittier, there were no obvious roads leading there. At the end of the paved area, I rolled down my window to ask a local where to go. "What you see is what you get!" he replied with a smile. He did point us to the bustling restaurant area (composed of 5 tiny businesses serving delicacies to unwary travelers). I suspect the restaurants do most of their business as travelers try to find something to do waiting for the one way trip back through the tunnel. We had lunch at a 6 table diner overlooking the sound. Entertained by sea lions in the water,

 

we enjoyed a lunch of chowder and sandwiches prepared by a summer transplant from Texas.

 

According to Wikipedia, in 2000, "there were 182 people, 86 households, and 46 families residing in the city." "City" is stretching the definition a bit. Lest you think nothing happens in Whittier, it is the starting point for day cruises to see the glaciers and whales. Regardless, we had a pleasant lunch, then got back in line to wait for the tunnel to open back to Portage.

 

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