Three shots from Cordova, AK -

The harbor:

Cordova is a sometimes-recommended vacation spot on Prince William Sound, the next stop on the ferry after Valdez. Unlike Talkeetna, it isn't really built around tourism at all. It's primarily a commercial fishing town (also had a "boom" phase from copper in the first part of the century, but there's no copper trade here now). We still found a firm that offers sea kayak rentals and tours, and loved the experience (if you're tall and you try it for the first time, get some kind of back support). Our hotel, The Reluctant Fisherman, used to be a cannery, as you might guess from the shape.

The mountains, from behind The Powder House:

Not much of a restaurant, but the views are beautiful. The prices aren't high because of tourism; all the prices are high here. Everything comes in by boat or plane. The restaurants serve surprisingly little seafood, because when the fishermen eat out, that's not what they're after. Or so I'm told.

Then again, you can get views like this all over south and south-central Alaska, and a long drive in this state is simply breathtaking.

The Copper River, evening:

Well past 10 PM. There's no road connecting this place to the rest of the world, but there is a 50-mile road that meanders out of town over several bridges, ending at one of the glaciers. (You can find stock footage of the Sheridan and Sherman glaciers all over the web. Why Alaska glaciers are named after them, I do not know.) It's only the end of May, so only 48 miles of this road are clear of snow, and we couldn't quite reach the glacier at the end. A little swamp, plenty of geese, a few ducks, an eagle or two, and a pair of swans. (We heard them sing. They survived.)

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