CORDOVA — A string of bluebird days filled Cordova with energy as those in town prepared for the start of summer fishing last week. Situated in a temperate rainforest and usually socked in under a layer of gray clouds, the coastal community is located on the eastern edge of Prince William Sound and tucked under Mount Eyak in the Chugach Mountains.
Local peaks still held late-season snow patches from an unusually powdery winter, and snow lingered on the Mount Eyak Ski Hill Trail last week and turned slushy as warm sunlight hit mountain hemlock.
Cordovans celebrated the return of the famed Copper River salmon after last year’s weak runs. City officials voted in mid-May to end the local mask mandate, among other COVID-19 restrictions. Restaurants, bars and shops remained closed much of last year during the pandemic and are just now beginning to return to in-person operations, drawing visitors from out of town.
The hum of planes and boats filled the air as people ate their first tacos and milkshakes of the season from Baja Taco. The smell of salt water and salmon accompanied those walking the sidewalks of Main Street.
Things in the seaside town have thawed, and after a rough winter, people are eager to return to normalcy. Here’s a look at the start of summer in Cordova.
Emily Mesner is a multimedia journalist for the Anchorage Daily News. She previously worked for the National Park Service at Denali National Park and Preserve and the Western Arctic National Parklands in Kotzebue, at the Cordova Times and at the Jackson Citizen Patriot in Jackson, Michigan.