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Subject: The Adventures NEVER END from Ed and Edith
Ole, Another one for the list!
It is day 83 and things are going great! We are leaving Hyder, Alaska after seeing Salmon Glacier which I have never heard
of but it is by far the biggest and most impressive glacier we have seen. It is on a terrible pot hole road about 20 miles
north of Hyder and the top of it is actually in BC. The last 15 miles the road hangs on a cliff and it is 1000's of feet
down and spots are caving off so you stay close to the cliff side let me tell you. We met our 7th SD license plate
vehicle of the trip at the top and got to talk to the folks. They have a house in SF but spend most of there time
traveling or at a house in WI. Great photo's in the travelogue.
Let me back up! We went to Atlin, BC which is next to the coastal mountains and is an old gold rush and tourist town on
Atlin Lake which is the biggest lake in BC and also seen Birch Mt. which is the highest mountian on a fresh water lake
according to the Milepost. It was the best gravel road of the whole trip. I continue to be just completely backwards
in direction! Disgusting, I watch the sun rise in the west and set in the east!
We stayed at Telsin Provincial CG on the ALCAN and another turquoise lake that was beaufiful. Fall is in the air but we
cooked on the fire and it was great. A few mosquitoes are showing us now that we are back in Canada and that brings
back not so fond memories. We are off for Watson Lake and need an Internet connection to get attachments so I can
download my licensing documents for the Ghana, Africa ham radio trip in Oct/Nov.
As we approach the Cassiar turn off that we will go back to after going to Watson Lake I decide it is now or never so
I put my plan into action for getting my directions straight. Since I was straight at Watson Lake back in June I want
to make sure when I leave Watson Lake for the Cassiar I don't get mixed up again so we pull over and Edith drives for
the second time of the trip pulling the 5th and I climb in the passenger side and close my eyes for the 14 miles into
Watson Lake. Edith gets to Watson Lake and I can tell we are turning off and then we are turning and turning and turning
and so won't tell me what is going on other than we are close to Watson Lake. It turns out she turned into a wrong lot
and so had to turn around and go back out and over to a different lot by the visitors center and she parks exactly where
we parked in June and I open my eyes and remember everything exactly as it was and IT IS SO GREAT TO HAVE MY DIRECTIONS CORRECT AGAIN! It is now several days later and they are still perfect!
We head down the Cassiar and find it beautiful and a good road despite all the terrible reports! We stay at a BC
Provincial CG called Boya Lake which was beautiful with all the mountains around and the park was so neat. They even
rake the gravel at the site like people do in Phoenix. I could not believe it and only $12 Canadian and all the
firewood you wanted and drinking water at a pump right close by.
We headed of in the morning and stopped at Jade City and met a couple who were friends of the owner of this store that
was in the process of being built. We bought a lot of Jade, had a great visit and got all the history on Jade mining
and Jade city and got her cookie recipe. It was just the neatest! BE SURE AND READ THE TRAVELOGUE ON THIS!
We then headed south and the scenery is great and the road is not bad. We did hit one construction section that had quite
a few loose rocks on it but other than that the gravel was the second best we have been on! We did have a low tire and
needed to get it fixed. That we did at a lodge as there are services only about every 100 miles on average. It cost
just under $30.00 U.S. to get it fixed which was about the same as Coldfoot on the Dalton to Prudhoe Bay so it is expensive
to have tire trouble off the beaten path. We spent the night in a rest area along with two other campers which is good
for security reasons. We had great scenery coming into Stewart, BC/Hyder, AK. It is a steep decent, with high mountains
and hanging glaciers! The traffic was light going our way but lots of tourists coming out.
We stopped at the visitors center in Steward to ask about camping and the bears and mail service out of Hyder. Good news,
the bears are there in force and we can camp in Hyder and the mail goes out twice a week via airplane and tomorrow will
be mail day and again on Monday so we are blessed! I can get my Ghana Application papers finished that I downloaded at
Watson Lake and get them in the mail to be flown out tomorrow. BTW the library was closed at Watson Lake so I went to a
CG and they had two pay phones with jacks under an outside porch so I charged my battery good on the laptop and hooked my
phone cord between the computer and the jack and set up my dial up connection for my phone care. It took me a few tries
to get the pauses right and discover I missed a number in my PIN and I was connected to Rapid net and got me e-mail and
the attachements and checked a couple of things on the web. The secret to getting your dialer working is to turn the
volume up so you can listen to the recording and see where it bombs at and fix it! I am getting the hang of this. The
bad news is that I have not figured out a way to save a modifyed dial up connection and other than writing it down on a
piece of paper while still connected you lose it when you disconnect. I am going to make up about 3 connections for on
the road. One with short pauses, medium and long and see how that works. BTW it rained quite hard so the porch was
essential. Doing this in a phone booth would not be fun!
Back to Hyder, AK we find a free place to park as there is a sign in downtown Hyder, AK saying you can park free just
inquire and that is exactly what it means. It has been a good spot The viewing of bear catching Salmon at Fish Creek
6 miles north of Hyder is just awesome! We got great shots despite the cloudy, low light situations. We seen them catch
10 salmon and seen at least 7 differnt bears three of which were grizzly bears and the other 4 were black bears. Edith
should have a picture of one bear coming up with a salmon in its mouth. We both got a picture of them diving for a
salmon. They have a new viewing platform that is just two months old and it is working well and makes for very safe viewing and the people up above don't seem to bother the bears. We got a very thrilling treat as they have never seen wolves at the viewing site in previous years and this year about a week ago they seen two wolves for the first time. We seen them which was the third time they have every been seen. They did not come up very far but we happend to be at the far end of the viewing platform and I managed to get a couple of great digital pictures. My bear picture were all pretty dark but a couple were not bad! We seen some expert fishing by some older bears in the evening but of course it was to dark to get any pictures. The water is just loaded with spawing Chum Salmon. We had quite an adventure pulling a stalled Chev. diesel pickup into town. We have a policy of stopping and trying to help anyone along the road. They were staying in the same lot we are and we got to know them well. There pickup turned out having blown the injectors so they needed to get it hauled back to Terrace about 100 miles away and his parents had to come and get the trailer and give them a ride home. The whole ordeal is going to cost about $3000 Canadian. We helped them as much as we could with rides, tools, etc. We got to be good friends and are going to visit them in a day or two. Again the whole story is in the travelogue and was quite and adventure.
Today I decide we just were not going to get any sunlight so I tried to get some telephoto pictures of the bears. I was
fortunate that some grizzlys came and I got one good telephoto shot and about three good non-telephoto. It will be on
the web site eventually so DO NOT MISS IT!. If you ever go to Alaska you need to come to Hyder when the bears are fishing
It is about the only place in the world where you can drive to in your automobile and watch bears catching salmon safely
and up close. There are very few places in the world you can do this and the two or three other places that you can are
very costly and you have to fly to. Sure sometimes you can luck out and see a bear catch a salmon but it likely would
not be very safe to try and get close enough to get a picture or see it well. So far at Hyder, AK it is free of charge
other than the expense of driving there. As we found there is even a free place to park if you don't need or want hook
ups. It is something to see the bear literally dive for a salmon, catch it in its mouth and come up out of the water
with a salmon in its mouth. When they crunch down several times we were close enough you could easily hear the bones
crunching as they chomped down on the salmon as they came up out of the water. They sometimes ate the salmon in the
water but usually waded to shore and ate it there or went into the trees and ate it. Sometimes they trap the salmon with
their paw and jaws at the same time and then reposition to get a better bite.
We seen a bald eagle buzz a bear screaming as it dived with it claws ready to grab the bear. The bear definitely ducked!
It was only about 30 feet away so was quite a sight and quite a sound! They are big birds! They ate what the bears
did not eat and apparently try to scare the bears away from there kill so they can grab it! The rangers are there all
the time and make sure people don't do anything stupid. A bear in Hyder, AK killed a fellow last July who apparently
was a cook and smelled like food from head to toe and did not have any protection with him. They of course shot the bear. Hyder has a couple of nice looking horses that wander around from yard to yard. They have been by our 5th several times and one got into my hot chocolate setting on the pickup. There is a local that sells a bear book and there is a picture of a bear chasing these same horses.
Hyder gets about 100 inches of precipitation a year. Last year was a mild winter and they only got 12 foot of snow.
Some years they get 30 or 40 foot. There are huge high snow covered mountains all around Hyder and it looks like a rain
forest with moss on the trees and hanging from the trees. The harbor does stay open the year around and you can take
the Portland Canal (Fjord) about 90 miles to the Pacific and Stewart, BC right next door is Canada's most northerly ice
free port. They have ferry service to Ketchikan 5 times a month. Stewart has a toaster museam that has over 500
different toasters in it. There are no U.S. customs entering Hyder, AK but you do have Canadian customs going back out
so that is different. We say good bye to Alaska as we leave extreme southeast AK. and head across Canada. Hyder a
dumpy little town but one we will remember very well!
Well we are headed to our new friends in Terrace, BC and then on to Prince Rupert and then east across BC to Prince
George and over to the Canadian Rockies.
[MID: 1135_W0SD Sent Via: KA6IQA Date: 2001/08/31 16:30:22]