Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day 243/244 - Whitehorse - Watson Lake - Stewart/Hyder

Distance travelled (by bike):  36,610

A beautiful Yukon day. Twisting south east through the Yukon along the Alaskan highway following in the wake of the snowbirds (made up predominantly of the retired folk that head south in search of warmer climates for the summer). 
Stopping at Teslin to look around the heritage centre. The centre documents the history and culture of Tlingit tribe, Tlingit, meaning, 'people of the tides' . Much of the Tlingit community's livelihood still revolves around hunting, trapping and fishing.
Stopping for lunch at some random road side cafe i got speaking to a couple heading south for the winter. He had his bike strapped on the back of his RV and was talking about fashioning some sort of offroad sidecar for his wife, she didn't look enthusiastic. When i left to pay the server told me the couple had already taken care of my bill - Thank you. 
After great weather all day i rolled into Watson lake as the skies clouded over and the rain began, perfect timing.

Heading south, into British Columbia, amazing road, leaving Watson Lake i was flanked on either side by charred and half submerged forests. It was again, raining.
Today i saw more bears than i have seen in the whole of my journey, most ran off when they heard the bike approaching, others just sat and continued to eat, ignoring me, but getting a bit to close for comfort at times.
Turning off to Stewart you pass the Bear Glacier as it melts it flows straight into the Bear river. Getting into Stewart i bypassed the town and headed straight to Hyder. Hyder is the most Southerly town in Alaska, as you drive along the road you leave Canada and are welcomed to the US and Alaska. Bizarre place, like stepping back 40 years. I headed straight to go see more bears, from fish creek (on a good day) you can see the bears feeding, the river is packed with salmon trying to get upstream. Unfortunately after waiting 30 minutes in the rain i saw none and decided to head back.
I have to admit one of the great pulls to come to Hyder was to get Hyderised. Sadly the Glacier Inn was shut when i went through, this is the only place to be Hyderised. This, in hindsight is probably a good thing as the initiation involves a large shot of some unknown spirit at 150% proof, and after that you would probably need some more to drink to massage what was left of your taste buds. However i'm determined to return and complete this challenge.

remains of the salmon after the bears have feasted

the Glacier Inn

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