Bear Observaton deck in Hyder
8.20.08 Hyder, AK
Weâ€™re in Hyder tonight, a funky little Alaskan bush town on the coast, just beside organized and groomed Stewart, B.C. It is the bear-watching mecca of Alaska and we headed directly there.
We had a good time down on the boardwalk, all within the Tongass National Forest jurisdiction. We saw a bald eagle and two beavers, met a nice Lazy Daze owner (Gordon Middleton) and enjoyed talking with Frank, a man from Colorado who is traveling our same route- but we did not see any bears.
Frank saw a bear there tonight, but then Frank also caught halibut in Homer, found gold when he panned for it, saw lots of wildlife on the Dempster and in Denali, and has more gold stars from wildlife sightings in Alaska than anyone we know.
Heâ€™d also met Mike and Terri Church in Mexico last year and has their Alaska Camping Book- he's the only other person Iâ€™ve met along the way that has this #1 most critical, chuck-all-others-overboard, Alaska RVing book! We think Frank is a lucky dude.
So we had a good time talking in spite of the lack of bears showing for their scheduled appointment for our viewing pleasure. We were really glad we'd seen the mother bear with triplets at the salmon overlook in Valdez. That was really close and cool! Plus, we did see a black bear cub today near the road as we drove.
The drive into Hyder from the Cassiar Hwy is spectacular with the enormous Bear Glacier just - RIGHT there! It was so big and so amazingly blue. Plus, it was raining and must have been for some time because the rivers were raging and waterfalls plummeted off the mountains that towered all around us.
Very dramatic scenery! Not so easy for driving.
We're going on a bear hunt!
Speaking of driving, I found the â€śscaryâ€ť part of the Cassiar Highway. It is just south of Dease Lake and is a mud road around tight mountain curves with no shoulders. It is absolutely fine though, provided no one else is on the road and you have the whole thing to yourself. Otherwise, it is a stop and pray while the other person skinnies past sort of situation. It is not a very long section though and the road thereafter is paved, then really nicely, newly paved so that the road feels like clouds.
Ciao Baby passed 114,000 miles today and we about 11,500 on our trip so far!