Friday, May 21, 2010

Our First Day as Tourists: Hyder, AK, and Stewart, B.C.

We drove a total of 50 miles today and ended up at the same place we started, the Bear River RV Park in Stewart, B.C. Our tour consisted of driving a couple miles through Stewart and Hyder, starting in B.C., then entering AK.

We then drove 23 miles of countryside, beginning in AK and turning around to re-trace our steps in B.C. During this drive we began at sea level in 50 degrees and reached 3500 feet elevation and 37 degrees in mixed rain and snow.

During our drive we saw wetlands named Moose Pond (where only beavers and bear appear, not Moose – go figure!), wandered the boardwalk adjacent to Fish Creek, then drove along the Salmon River valley, a half-mile-wide braided river channel fed by glacier melt water, and finally arrived at the Summit Glacier. As you can see, the pattern of “place names” here is mostly pretty basic.

This area has not really opened yet for the summer season. We were told that quite a few folks will arrive over the Memorial Day weekend, then it will be quiet again until July and August when the salmon are running and the crowds will appear. At this point the area will be inundated by fishermen, bears, and people hoping to witness the large number of grizzly and black bears feeding along the Fish Creek.

This was a great relaxing day. We’ll let the pictures tell the story. We suspect the landscape will seem somewhat unremarkable by the time we’re headed home. But it’s beautiful by any objective standard and a wonderful break from the previous 4 days since we hit the road and put lots of miles behind us.

One little piece of personal news. Bob’s pain meds are doing a great job helping him manage the discomfort, and we’re optimistic he’ll be able to cut back much more rapidly than we could ever have imagined yesterday. Tonight he might even get a good night’s sleep! Thank you Dr. Kevin.

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