San Diego to Skaqway

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May/June 2007 "Ride to Skagway" - Dease Lake to New Hazelton
Day 15

Hyder, AK

Dease Lake BC
New Hazelton, BC

Day 15, Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Left early after consuming the muffins we'd purchased at the store across the street. They had everything! Wow. Very pretty weather today. Still cold, but not rainy. Spectacular scenery. There are no words for how beautiful and green everything is here.

One road repair area was so soggy that it waved and buckled under the big trucks, as if the road were actually floating on top of water. Really eerie sight. I kept thinking that the next truck was going to break through and sink, but this didn't happen. The flag lady at this location pointed out the odd phenomenon as she and her dog were conversing with us during one of the waits. Craig shot a video clip of one of the Dirt Sections.

So beautiful! The mountains are rugged and lovely, and change colors with the setting sun. We had an amazing lunch at Bell II.

On the way to Stewart and Hyder we stopped and looked at Bear Lake Glacier, and met 2 motorcyclists (one bald with a long coat, the other with long hair and a short coat. Balance...). The were brothers. The brother named Donald owned both of the bikes. He used plastic snow shovel blades cut in half for leg fairings:

Me at Bear Glacier!! 

Rock avalanche at Bear Glacier!

We saw 7 Sisters Mountains, all snow capped and resembling the Grand Tetons. Amazing. Lots of trees and rivers (still breaching their banks).

After fueling in Stewart we crossed over the border to Hyder, Alaska. Very odd sort of border crossing. Only a Canadian crossing kiosk, nothing for USA. We crossed into the little LITTLE town of Hyder - all what seemed like 2 blocks worth. Unbelievable in beauty, on a fiord with steep sloped mountains all around.

The flowers look like a little happy face...

Remember that Hyder is at sea level. That water is tidal!

The ocean come right up to the edges of these slopes, leaving very little room for buildings. First we stopped at the town museum/National Park office/visitor center (one stop shopping.) The woman in the facility pointed out a good motel and place to eat in town. We stopped at the motel, rang the doorbell - no answer. Rang again - no answer. There was still a lot of light left in the day so we decided not to call it a night here.

We then went to the Boundary Gift Shop and got a couple of things - scarf, stickers, and fudge. We met the proprietor, Caroline, and enjoyed talking with her about the Dulcimer and music. It turns out she's a volunteer music teacher. She told us all about the motorcyclists who visit Hyder, and about the annual events held in Hyder. It's fun to run into motorcycle enthusiasts along the way! Caroline's husband showed up just as we were leaving, and both waived good-bye as we toodled on toward the border crossing.

At the border crossing, again Canadian, we were asked if we had anything to declare, and I showed the fudge and the scarf. And, of course those questions "are you bringing in dadeedadeeda" to which Craig said, "I don't have anything on your list" which made the woman at the crossing laugh. It's just that (1) we're on a motorcycle, and (2) we'd been totally within easy sight of the crossing the whole time. Funny. Canadian Homeland Security?

We kept on going past Stewart, amidst gorgeous scenery. We saw another Momma Black Bear with her 2 cubs and this time got a photo:

We found a room at the Bulkley Valley Motel in New Hazelton. The owners were really delightful, and the room was very comfortable. There was a microwave oven, but no coffee pot. That's why I carry tea bags. Dinner was next door at a Chinese Restaurant. The restaurant was sort of odd. There was a stuffed bear head that overlooked our part of the restaurant. Gave me the creeps. Long day. Still had the energy for 2 more games of Schapsen!

Beautiful scene from New Hazelton.

> Go to Day 16