Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Day 31 - July 14th, 2010 Watson Lake Turn-Off, YT to Hyder, AK
Today would be one of the last stretches of remote highway we would be taking on this trip. The Cassiar Hwy runs north/south thru western British Columbia with few services or ammenities. We'd need to gas up every chance we got. Stations in remote areas are usually above ground mobile tanks with built-in pumps that a supplier simply sets at a remote store location.
The road at times seemed endless. Did pass a jade mine but they seemed more focused on selling you jade than showing how it was mined. Late morning we began to meet a few cars and bikers coming north that had left from the south end that day. We would see several bear and moose on the highway, most when you least expected them.
At Meziadin Junction, we turned off the Cassiar Hwy and went west for fourty miles on Hwy 37A into Stewart and then Hyder, AK. This stretch is essentially a canyon dropping down to the coastline where the two towns are located. The route had numerous glaciers and scenic points. Was also quite windy in spots where the canyon narrowed.
Tammy was leading as we entered the town of Stewart. She was both welcomed and startled by a bear on the side of the road with its front feet up on the railing waiting for her to pass by. As soon as she drove by, the bear hopped the railing and walked across the highway. Wasn't this bear but I think her facial expression was the same.
The town of Stewart seems to have a little bit of fishing industry. Hyder has nothing but a couple bars/restaurants and a general store. It is not even important enough to justify a US border patrol to re-enter the US at this point. There was a patrol point coming back into Canada though.
We stayed at the SeaAlaska Inn. Not fancy but above a food and drink place. Good pizza and cold drinks. Can not ask for more after a long day in the saddle. It was also Milepost zero of the so-called Alaska-Yukon Hwy; had never heard the route called that before.
Two other prominent buildings in town were the General Store and the first masonry building in Alaska, built about fifteen feet from the Canadian line.