Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 32 - July 15th, 2010 Hyder, AK to Houston, BC

When we have a real bed, we sleep in a little longer.  Barely made it out by the 11AM check-out time.  And we just road the bikes 200 feet to a breakfast place.  Great breakfast and as usual we ran into people that we had just seen days earlier.  Seems to happen frequently in Alaska because there's only two ways to go around to tour the state by vehicle.

Bar/restaurant was absolutely covered everywhere with Canadian and US dollar bills.  They even had 4'x8' sheets of plywood hinged to walls so more dollars could be attached.  The girl who waited on us was from Ashland, WI; went to high school and college there.  Had just graduated as a geologist and had some part-time work in AK.
After breakfast, we went to a bear viewing area but no bears to be seen.  Plenty of mosquitoes though.  Seemed to be a river that salmon come back to spawn in every year.  Just the wrong time for us.

Went thru the Canadian customs to get back into Canada as we left Hyder.  Border agent appeared to be 18 years old and doing it for a summer job.  Don't think this crossing ever got too busy.

Stewart had a harbor that consisted of boats tied to old tree stumps.  When the tide was out, they simply sat in the mud.  Not too glamorous until I realized this was the home port of world famous Captain Ron.

We drove the canyon back out to the Cassiar Hwy and proceded south to finish off the last 100 miles of the highway.  The gas station/convience store at the intersection of the Cassier and Hwy 16 was over-whelmed with customers.  Had to be 20 motorcyclists plus an equal number cars and trucks.  Obviously a great business location.

We stopped at a roadside rest area for a bathroom break and ended up spending nearly an hour talking to an older retired couple from Rapid City and then to two KLR riders from North Carolina.  The couple was driving a 1970's Ford with a pickup camper.  Said they were having the time of their lives at 10 mpg.  The KLR riders had trucked their bikes to Michigan and ridden from there.  Bikes were well farkled and looked very experienced.  One rider had been to AK several times by motorcycle and was bemoaning the Cassier Hwy being paved.  Said this was his last trip to the state because it was getting over-run with tourists.  I think he was just growing weary from the trip.

Stopped later at a small town with a totem pole display.  We found the church just as interesting.  It appeared to be still active while quite run-down.

Discovered a great little family campground just east of Houston for the night.  The local Chinese buffet left a lot to be desired though.  Even managed to get the oil changed in the Suzuki that night.  Hwy 16 is a major four lane highway across Canada and we would make good time on this road tomorrow.

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