Day of beautiful scenery

Trip Start Jul 12, 2010
1
9
74
Trip End Sep 24, 2010


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Where I stayed
Dave's RV Park

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

   We're feeling like we need to put on some miles today since we lost most of yesterday. Even though we're supposed to be in vacation mode it seems like we are behind the schedule we thought we would be so should make up for it.
   We saw our first black bear soon after turning onto the Cassiar Highway which is known to be very scenic. He ran into the trees along the road before I could get a picture. We stop quickly at an overlook by Twelka to watch the First Nation Indians netting salmon in the Morice River. It looks dangerous to me but they are skilled at doing it, I'm sure.
   I've started knitting the past couple days as we drive and have finished a second dish cloth. I brought several needlework projects along but dish cloths seem to be the easiest to do when driving as it takes very little concentration and is easy to pick up wherever I leave off. I can manage to follow the Milepost and knit without loosing track of either!
      This day two ladies from Washington gave us a great recommendation that we might have missed. We talked to them at a rest area down along a creek where we stopped for lunch. After we had a sandwich Wayne decided to take a rest. I walked down by the creek and they were sitting at a picnic table having their lunch. They proceeded to tell us all about Stewart, BC and Hyder, AK. We were only a couple hours from the turnoff but decided we wanted to take the extra time to go there. It was only about an hour off the Cassiar Highway so we decide we should take the side trip and head back north the following morning. Not long after I see two more bears in the ditch that also run into the trees when they see us. They are really black so easy to spot once we start looking!
   We took the ladies advice and stayed at Dave's RV Park right on the edge of town going into Stewart. That way we didn't have to take the motor home through customs again when we cross over into Alaska. This is the part of Alaska that comes way south along the Inside Passageway.
The lady gave us the Self-Guided Tour pamphlet for driving up to the Salmon Glacier, It is 22 miles up with several marked points of interest along the way. We knew we had enough time to do it today rather than taking a portion of the next day so headed over.
   Stewart is a small town with one gas station and a handful of businesses on their Main Street. We pass through to go to Hyder and can drive right into AK without going through customs. We realize that you can't get anywhere from Hyder so they must feel pretty confident that anyone that comes over from BC will go back to BC. Hyder is almost a ghost town with mostly closed businesses and a few junky buildings. They do have a post office so I stopped to get a flat rate box to mail Porter the library books he had forgotten in the camper. We then go to the Tongass National Forest wildlife viewing area. It is a long wooden boardwalk built above a creek where the bears come down to catch the salmon during the season. The day we were there the salmon had just started coming up the river. There had been only one bear sighting so far but it was still interesting to watch the few salmon that were there and anticipate having a bear come out of the woods to snatch one or more up for lunch.  
   As we were driving out of the parking lot headed for the road to the glacier, a man about our age with a small backpack is hitch hiking. We offer him a ride. His name is Les, he's from Vancouver Island, BC and he has a small minihome that he doesn't think he should drive up the curvy windy bumpy road but he wants to see the view of the glacier.  His wife is a travelling nurse and was on assignment a bit north of there so he came over to visit and do some touring. I let him know that if he is going to ride with us he is going to have to listen to me read all the info in the self-guided tour pamphlet. He's fine with that so we learn about each of the points of interest and stop to take some pictures at a few of them. I think the road is scary in some places but we get to the top and the view is worth the drive. We are right next to and above a very large glacier! The scenery all around us is magnificent with the ice, the mountains covered by trees and the blue sky. Never mind the mosquitoes that attacked us when we got out at the top...Les had some repellant in his backpack that he shared.
   As we headed back to the car to drive down, Les hears a hissing sound and he and Wayne realize that we have a cut in our tire from a sharp rock and it is going flat. We have to get the book out to figure out how to change this new fangled tire that first needs to be gotten out from under the vehicle and is of course, one of those temporary ones that looks really funny. Les helps Wayne and I find in the book the one part they couldn't figure out. We had already been telling Les about our motor home and towing problems with the car and now we have a flat tire besides.
   The spare gets us back down the mountain on the curvy windy road with no guard rails but Wayne drives really slowly and carefully because we have this weird tire. They said it was fortunate it was a back tire because you can't put those on the front and that would have meant taking a front tire off to put on the back.
   We drop Les off at the Wildlife Viewing area on our way down where his minihome is parked. We take a few minutes to find out if there have been any additional bear sightings but there have not so we decide to see if we can get to the "Bus" for some seafood. We saw the sign along the road that said "Eat at the bus" and then Les told us it is an old school bus that has been gutted, made into a cook shack for seafood. Some of the seats are up to outside tables. Guess they have great food and it was busy when we got there at 8:05. Unfortunatly closing time was 8:00 and they had to turn away another couple and us because we were too late. We went back to the camper and found something to eat and went to bed knowing we'd need to get a tire fixed in the morning.
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