Cordova is not a town that would be high on the list for tourists who are traveling around Alaska and I suspect the locals are somewhat happy about that. Cordova is a fishing village that is largely isolated with no roads in or out, Cordova is also a hidden gem. The only way in or out of Cordova is by air or by ferry. There was a road that connected Cordova, the Cooper River Highway, but the bridge washed away and it was never repaired. In fact in some shops Cordovans proudly display their “No Bridge” stickers. Whilst a flight into Cordova would be beautiful, the ferry from Valdez to Cordova is 3hrs through the amazing Prince William Sound. It’s hard to think that this area was decimated so badly by the devastating tsunamis triggered by the 1964 earthquake and that a quarter of a century later would be the scene of an environmental disaster, the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Prince William Sound is beautiful. Those words don’t adequately convey its beauty, I’m not sure what would. Besides the incredible landscape there was the distant blow from a Humpback Whale, numerous bird life, Sea Otters floating on their back and Sea Lions sunning themselves.
Whilst I managed some shots along the way, for the most part I sat and marvelled at the beauty.
Cordova itself is a rustic looking town, full of old buildings with character and charm. Its harbour is full of boats, almost more boats than people, and the scenery is gorgeous. We were told to have lunch at the Alaskan Hotel Bar, which is a large building in the main street. It looked a bit rough from the outside and the inside matched, but the food was great.
The locals told us about some spots where Bear were commonly seen, including Power Creek which is just outside of Cordova. Whilst we didn’t find any bears, we did get some stunning shots of the creek.
Our second day in Cordova was full of exploring with our cameras in hand, batteries charged and some spare memory cards! In the morning on a quick drive just a few minutes outside Cordova, two Bald Eagles sat on top of a pole, carefully surveying the world in front of them. A little further down was a juvenile bald eagle, without its white plume, patiently posed for the cameras.
A trip out of Cordova on the Cooper River Highway for as far as you can go before the road ends is stunning, from the lush Chugach National forest, open plains, glaciers, rivers, mountains and of course wildlife. During the drive we spotted a Moose and her calf grazing. It was such a beautiful sight, mother and daughter keeping an eye on us whilst we had an eye on them.
Click here for the next stage of the Alaskan journey: Cordova to Seward