Glaciers, Gold and Bears
We entered Alaska today at the hardscrabble town of Hyder. Almost all of the businesses were closed and shuttered. The cruise ships don't stop here.
To get here you turn off the Yellowhead Highway and drive 97 miles up the Cassiar Highway and then jog 35 miles west toward America and the Coast.
The town of Stewart, British Columbia seem marginally more prosperous. They still have a grocery store open and a place to buy ice cream and rent DVDs. "The Thing" starring Kurt Russel was filmed here in 1982.
On the American side is a great place to see big bears at Fish Creek when the salmon are spawning. The salmon aren't here yet so neither are the bears.
I had thought to ride my bike on the long downgrade into Stewart but in Canada the law says you must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.
You can still see bears in Hyder at the town dump, but we've seen more than our share of big bears over the years.
We take the 25 mile gravel road to Salmon Glacier and eat our picnic sandwiches.
In 1898 an American named Burgess swindled 65 people into landing here by telling them that it was a shortcut to the Klondike gold fields. In the morning he was gone.
Only three of the 65 stayed here. One who stayed was "Pap" Stewart who discovered the "American Girl" gold mine.
The Bear Man (Keith) is still camping out at the Salmon Glacier overlook (3,700 feet) so we buy another DVD and more of his postcards. The picture above is from 2007 so you can see changes in the glacier as well as those in Phred Firecloud and Mrs. Phred.