When it came time to leave Cordova we boarded the ferry for Whittier and again spent the time photographing the many glaciers along the way.
Whittier is truly unique, it is a town where the majority of its residents live in the one 14 storey apartment building which also houses the City offices, the Police Department, a medical clinic, the post office, a grocery store and a laundromat.
During World War II, Whittier was a strategically important logistics site with a large naval base. The building that now houses most of the town was built by the Army along with another building which has been abandoned since the late 1960’s.
The only land access to Whittier is through the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, a 4km mixed use, single lane tunnel where eastbound and westbound traffic is controlled by a system that manages the timing and spacing of vehicles entering the tunnel. Our visit to Whitter was brief (hence the lack of photos), as our real destination was beyond the tunnel, Seward.
The drive to Seward is stunning, landscape photography at every turn. We stopped at the Portage Valley Recreation Area to take photos of Portage Lake with Portage Glacier sitting high above it. On the drive we were treated to many more spectacular glaciers and ample opportunities to practice our landscape photography skills.
Seward is a popular tourist spot for cruise liners, given its location on the Kenai Peninsula. The last boat of the season was pulling into Seward during our visit. Seward has a beautiful harbour with mountains and glaciers as its backdrop.
Exit Glacier is a drive a few miles out of town. The hike up to Glacier View is well worth the effort. Hikers and photographers are rewarded with close views of the Glacier and spectacular views of the valley that has been carved out by the Glacier for centuries. On the drive to Exit Glacier and on the walk to Glacier View, there are numerous sign posts listing dates back to the late 1800’s that mark the retreating ice, it is a stark reminder of the realities of climate change.
Click here for the next stage of the Alaskan journey: Kenai Fjords National Park