Tuesday, October 2, 2001
Hello from Hyder, Alaska!
Start time: 0900
Start odometer: 15703
Weather: Cloudy, 34 F., up to 51 F.
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- The day started cool and cloudy, with intermittent blue skies.
During the beginning part of the drive, I saw a few
- A short distance south of Dease Lake is the Arctic-Pacific Divide. -
- Upper Gnat, one of many lakes along the Stewart-Cassiar. -
- Looking for "wildlife" I saw this horse along the road -
- As I drove through the morning, the skies began to clear. The views
were again spectacular! -
- Mt. Edziza, a dormant volcano that is the focal point of
National Park. -
- The snow capped mountains and blue skies provide a beautiful backdrop.
- There are several one lane bridges along the Stewart-Cassiar. There
are also quite a few wooden bridges.-
- This is another pretty lake that appears as you drive. -
- I ran into several construction areas, and there were gravel sections of
the highway. This is the look driving behind a thirty-wheel fuel truck! -
- Later in the day, clouds began to return, and created more beautiful
- Several portions of the road are in avalanche areas, and the following
display is present at one of the rest areas. -
- This plaque on a stone is dedicated to two workers killed in an avalanche in 1999 -
- At the
Meziadin Junction, about 96 miles north of Kitwanga, B. C., is the
turnoff to Route 37A, the road to Stewart B. C. and Hyder Alaska.
Along the route are numerous glaciers, high cliffs, canyons, and incredible
views! This highway should be on the short list if you are ever in the
area. During my time westbound, there were clouds, sun, snow (on the
mountains,) glaciers, five hundred foot cascading waterfalls, and I also
watched a Bald Eagle flying majestically over the road! The landscape
appeared to represent many regions of the planet, from dry rocky sections to
moss covered slopes and trees. Needless to say, I was impressed with
Bear Glacier, on the south side of 37A. -
- Another glacier along the road -
- I drove through Stewart, then after driving about two miles along a road
that hugs the coastline, I arrived in
Hyder, Alaska! No U. S. Customs
Office exists, so no need to stop at the border. I guess since
there are no "highways" out of
Hyder into the U. S., none is
needed. However, Canadian Customs is in position to stop traffic
crossing back. For the record, this in the eighteenth time zone change for me!
- As I drove through Hyder, I looked for motels, as I read in The Milepost
that two exist. Noting a sign for the U. S. National Forest, I stopped
at the Hyder Community Building. Several government offices share the
space, and I was interested in learning about the touring options, as well
as the Misty Fjords National Monument. I picked up some brochures,
including information about a self driving tour to the Salmon Glacier.
I also learned about the Fish Creek Wildlife Viewing Area, a spawning area
where chum and pink salmon can be seen. Bears are known to be in the
area because of the fish. I decided to go there after securing
- The first motel I tried was the Sealaska, but the bar, where one checks
in, was closed. Nobody was around, and when calling the phone number,
only the answering machine was available. The second place, the
View Inn, is located a short distance down the road. Upon arriving and
seeing the lit vacancy sign, I went to the office. The door was
locked, and a note on the door mentioned someone available for
emergencies! I decided to head to the viewing area, and try the motels
- About fifteen fish were in the area of the viewing platform when I
arrived, and after about half an hour of talking with others there, I
noticed two bears headed our way! They were grizzlies, eating
plants along side of the river. It was also interesting to see them
frolic and run through the creek!
- This was another bear that showed up a short while later. I met a
gentleman who had been watching up to twenty bears in the area, and said
this was a fairly calm grizzly! -
- Along the road towards town is this moose pond (no moose in sight,
I enjoyed the beautiful reflection!
- I returned to Hyder and tried to find a motel, but still none were
opened. I stopped by an open bar on Main Street and the bartender
suggested to try one of the B&Bs, specifically the Hyder B&B at the
General Store, also known as the "Border Bandit Bed & Breakfast."
- When I arrived at the store, it was closed. I noticed someone inside
so I knocked and got the attention of the owner, Chuck Hart. Rooms
were available (I was the only one there.) We had an interesting
conversation, including a discussion about Hyder. They do not have a
police force, but since practically everyone has a sidearm, they have no
problem with crime. The town also accepts and plays up its association
with Northern Exposure. There is a rich man that owns quite a bit of
property, who is is a bit like Maurice Minnefield, and a bar owner that is a
little like Holling! In fact, all the rooms in Chuck's B&B have a
television with a built in VCR, and all rooms also have a tape with six
episodes of the show! Going along with the gimmick! The town has
a thing called getting "Getting Hyderized!" It requires a
person to drink a glass of 190 proof grain alcohol. If you do not
finish the drink, you buy a round for all in the bar. If you do
finish, you put your name on a dollar bill which will be attached to the
wall. The walls of the bar I stopped in earlier were covered with
dollar bills, and I read somewhere there was over $20,000 in ones! No I did not get Hyderized, and I did not have to buy a
- It was dinnertime, and Chuck mentioned that there were no restaurants open
in Hyder. He suggested I drive to Stewart, across the border, and eat
at the King Edward's Hotel. I had stopped at this hotel on the way to
Hyder and learned they were almost booked full. When I returned for
dinner, I saw many, many RCMP vehicles. They officers were in town to
take a survival course the next day. By traveling into British
Colombia and back, I changed time zones again, for my nineteenth and
twentieth time zone crossings so far on this trip!
- After dinner, I returned to Hyder and stopped by the Salmon River
Outfitter store. I met Chuck Slajer, the owner. He had a couple
of computers and was attempting to set up a network, so we worked on the
machines until it was time to close up the shop. He mentioned that a
new bottling plant had just opened that day, and they had some large orders
to be filled. Chuck said it was a good thing for the town, and they
were hoping for its success.
- I did not have an internet connection, and it was too late to start
working on the page, so I went to bed. I did put the tape in and watched
a little bit of "Northern Exposure"!
- Thank you for visiting!
Routes traveled today: BC 37 - BC 37A
Hotel: Hyder Bed and Breakfast -
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© 2001 Igor N. Nikishin
may be used with permission.