Alaska 

Days 22 - September 1, 2009

Miles Traveled: about 68

Notable Stops: Stayed in Hyder

Daily High:

Daily Low:

Notable weather: Clear and beautiful

Jess’ Voice: Nonexistent, Came Back for Awhile, Nonexistent Again

 

Looking for Bears without Bear Repellant

 

We woke up this morning and drove to the bear viewing area. Because the Speedster (aka Bear Repellant) would be parked in the parking lot we figured we had a pretty good chance of actually seeing one or two bears.

 

My voice came back. Before we left to see the bears the zipper in my jacket split. This upset me; zippers are never the same after they split.

 

Apparently the regulars only saw one bear at the viewing area so they were happy to see something new (us and our car).

 

Bear Repellant was a Hit at the Bear Viewing Area

 

As we approached the kiosk to buy our permit to use the bear viewing area a man walked up to us. He said, “You guys are the talk of the town.” (He was referring to the Speedster.) He then began asking us questions about the car and headed to the parking lot to take pictures.

 

Several other people at the bear viewing area told us they were happy we came by because there has not been much activity there today.

 

We saw a bunch of salmon in the river. We saw some fighting and others just trying to get up the river. We saw a bald eagle but we didn’t see any bears. It was cold too so we went back to camp to warm up. We decided we’d go to the Salmon Glacier in the afternoon. Back in the parking lot of the viewing area the zipper on my jacket totally broke.

 

Warming Up Back at Camp Run-A-Muck Then off to Lunch at The Bus

 

Back at camp we warmed up a bit. I also worked on updating text for the web site and uploading it the text.

 

Around lunchtime we went to “The Bus” for lunch here in Hyder. The Bus is a neat restaurant that is actually an old school bus. The seats were removed from the inside. Some of the seats are set up outside the bus to make dinning booths under an awning.

 

The husband goes out fishing every morning and brings his catch back to The Bus. Then his wife cooks whatever the husband catches.

 

Today the husband caught sockeye salmon. So, Matt and I ordered a plate of the sockeye salmon seasoned and cooked in whatever fashion the wife likes best.

While we were waiting for our salmon we sat outside the bus on one of the bus seat booths with a Canadian guy who was about our age. We all started talking. He was interested in our car and trip; we were interested in what he was doing in Hyder. He is driving his motorcycle from Vancouver (where he is from) up the Cassiar Highway to the Dempster Highway to see the fall colors then back home again.

 

We asked him what he wears when it rains and if he gets wet. He wears the same things we wear and he gets wet too. At least I know we are not alone. You just never hear those motorcycle guys talking about getting wet while they ride. I guess they are too tough for that sort of thing. I guess their wives (when they are along) are behind the guys (so the guys are absorbing all the rain) and the wives are not keeping a log of their travels on the internet.

 

By the way, the food at The Bus was very good. I highly recommend anyone going to Stewart/Hyder eat at The Bus.

 

The Husband and Wife at The Bus were also interested in our car. They took pictures of it just before we left and asked us questions. They even gave us one of their postcards (a picture of their establishment) and a button for their establishment before we left.

 

Off to See Old Ice

 

There are two notable glaciers out of Hyder, which everyone must go see. They are both past the bear viewing area on the dirt road. (Actually, all the roads in Hyder are dirt.) The first is the Salmon Glacier. It is about 24 miles past Camp Run-A-Muck. The second is the Berendon Glacier; it is another 7 miles past the Salmon Glacier. Although the road to the glaciers is not the roughest road we have ever had our car on (the road out the back side of Ponderosa between Wiemar and Foresthill, California is), it is certainly the longest stretch of rough road we’ve had the car on. Another interesting thing about this road to the glaciers is that it leaves Alaska and enters Canada but there is not a customs station on this boarder. Locals told us this is the only boarder crossing without customs officials.

 

The glaciers were beautiful. It is crazy how these massive expanses of old ice really are flowing down the mountain. You can see it when you look at the glaciers.

 

The viewing spot for the Berendon Glacier is on a giant pile of mining tailings. Off to the right is the glacier and off to the left is what appears to be a mine shaft, footings for some other structures, ore cart tracks and tons upon tons of tailings.

 

From camp and back it was about 62 miles on this rough road. Before we were even half way to the Salmon Glacier I lost my voice completely again and started to feel crummy again. Every bump in the road (there were too many to count) made my head feel like it was being impaled by my spine. Had I felt good I would have really enjoyed the road. I’m really glad we went out to see the Glaciers though. I recommend anyone who goes to Stewart/Hyder fill their gas tank with gas and go see the glaciers.

 

Generous Camp Hosts

 

My cough is still really bad. It is keeping both Matt and me up at night. I ran out of the Ibeprophan I packed for the trip and the Robitusen we bought the other day (it was a small bottle). Earlier in the day we looked for both medications at the General Store in Hyder. We found the Ibeprophan but nothing for my chest congestion. The storeowner suggested we look at the store in Stewart. After seeing the glaciers Matt went to Stewart to get medicine for me. He found Tylenol but didn’t find much for chest congestion. When he got back to camp the camp host (who reminded me of Dean Dicee at Lincoln Law School—this is a good thing) asked Matt how I was doing. When Matt told him and told him about the trouble he had finding medicine the camp host disappeared into his trailer then returned with cough medicine, Tylenol in the liquid form and cough drops and gave them to us. Matt offered to pay him (as these things cannot always be found in this town) but the camp host refused the offer and told Matt, “Service is our name.”

 

I was already impressed with the hospitality at Camp Run-A-Muck but this was just over the top. Not only is this RV Park a nice place to stay with clean laundry, bathroom and shower facilities, nice fire rings, electrical and water hookups as well as WiFi but the camp hosts are over the top nice. Camp Run-A-Muck is another place I highly recommend staying.

 

Bald Eagle at Bear Viewing Site Salmon Glacier
Salmon Glacier Salmon Glacier
Salmon Glacier Speedster at Salmon Glacier
Salmon Glacier
Jess and Matt at Salmon Glacier Berendon Glacier
Jess in Speedster at Berendon Glacier  Jess in Speedster at Berendon Glacier 
Speedster at Berendon Glacier Lookout Jess in Speedster at Berendon Glacier Lookout
Mining Remnants at Berendon Glacier Mining Remnants at Berendon Glacier
Berendon Glacier Berendon Glacier
Berendon Glacier
Alaska 2009

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