We left the Hazelton’s and headed toward Stewart BC. We found a fabulous free campsite at Clements Lake just outside of town.
I stood at the water’s edge and marvelled at the sight. The reflections on the lake perfectly mirrored the forest edge. We had a great night, alone in the wilderness once again.
I am surprised that these free campsites are left empty and people pay to camp side by side in a field. We have been told that there is a great bear watching spot in the nearby US town of Hyder, Alaska. We also have found out that there is a road from Hyder that leads towards the Salmon Glacier, the 5th largest on the continent.. Tomorrow will be great.
John woke up in the night with something biting him. Without
my glasses, I could see the leach sucking on his flesh. Immediately, I grabbed
the salt and doused the critter.
The tick, fell onto the bed, the big bruise,
was now covered in salt. We were able to find the tick and put it into a
John’s leg was very sore. After breakfast, and a quick look up the
trail at Clements Lake, we went into Stewart to look for medical aid. John’s
bite was swollen and painful. Lyme disease came to my mind. . First thing we found was a beautiful little hospital. We went straight to the Emergency entrance. The door was locked.
There was a doorbell so we rang. No answer, There is a phone. We picked it up and it immediately rang. Within a short time, a voice came over the
intercom to advise that she would be with us in ten minutes. We sat on the
bench in the outside waiting room.
Glad it was not winter, we waited
patiently. The rooms were all dark. It was eerily quiet. We could hear the
metal roof creaking. Within the ten minutes, the door opened and an Australian
nurse led us into the treatment room. She had no experience with tick bites so
called the doctor. Luckily the ticks in this area are not disease carrying. The
hospital was so quiet because it has been closed for a couple of years. There
is no funding. Anyone needing treatment is flown out. There are a lot of work
related accidents with the logging and mining companies nearby. The phone is linked to her home and when needed, she comes to the hospital. So with John in no immediate danger, the vacation continues.
We knew it was best to get to the bear viewing in the
evening, which left us lots of time to putter around. We went into Stewart and
found a place to get coffee and free Wi-Fi. The coffee was delicious, the Wi-Fi…
slow, then rapidly diminishing to non-existent.
Enough of that, we headed to Hyder, Alaska. The border crossing is
casual to say the least, no one was there to question us, we just drove past
the sign. There is no way out of the Hyder area except hiking through the
wilderness or back the same way you came.
We stopped briefly at the bear viewing spot and talked to
the park rangers. The salmon are late this year. This is the latest they have
ever been. Just our luck. The road continues towards the Salmon Glacier which is in Canada. We crossed the unmanned border. A beautiful drive over a long and winding dirt road led us up and over the mountains. The road is well-travelled and we met a lot of other travellers at the various viewpoints. Eventually, the toe of the glacier came into view with the massive glacier climbing up the valley. It is a sight that is beyond words.
It is impossible to capture the massive amount of ice in one picture.
continued to the top where we found a “no public access” warning. It was Sunday
towards evening, so we went down the road anyway. We ended up at the far end of the glacier and beyond.
There was some disturbing sights along the way. The mining company and the tailings ponds. How secure are these pools? Does any of this escape into the river? Is gold worth more than the environment? Just have to wonder.
We drove back toward Hyder and stopped at the bear watching
place. It was fifteen minutes to closing. The ranger told us that a black bear
and her cubs were there just a few minutes before. We walked out along the
viewing platform in hopes she would return. Just as we reached the end of the
long boardwalk, a grizzly came around the corner, walking up the river. He was
looking for salmon. He noticed us and stood up on his hind legs. What a brute.
I was so excited; all my pictures of him are blurry. We were happy, seeing him
made our day complete.