We departed Skagway on Saturday and started the long haul to the Lower 48 as it is known in Alaska. The next seven days had 5 long travel days with the intent of getting the group to Prince George, BC. The difficult part of traveling with a group is the long travel days and only staying one night. We did have a two night stay in Stewart, BC with a 2 mile drive to Hyder, AK with a freakin’ border crossing! I mean really, you can only get to Hyder by boat or from Stewart. There is no Customs agent to enter Alaska there so why the Canadian one? It must be the worst posting for all of Canada!
Hyder is such a sad little town. It was originally call Portland City, named for the canal that gave access to the area. The name was changed in 1914 when the US Postal System told the citizens there were lots of places called Portland City, it was changed to Hyder, after Frederic Hyder who predicted great things for the area…he couldn’t have been more wrong. It was the only access to the silver mines in Canada, at the time. The main area of the town, built on pilings burnt in 1948. We were there to see bears catch and eat salmon or so goes the claim. We missed it by this [ ] much. 🙄
The following morning we decided to drive up to the Salmon Glacier located on the Salmon River, go figure. Well, it was drizzly and very foggy. We enjoyed the drive until we ran into construction…out in the middle of nowhere! Richard slowed down and the sign guy moved the sign a bit towards the car, Richard slowed way down but still at a crawl because he wanted to make sure we were on the right road. Sign Guy moved the stop sign to right in front of the car. It was like he was saying, “Stop, really, Stop!” 😉 So we stopped and Richard rolled down his window and started talking…dude was wearing earplugs and he went, “Eh?” Priceless! We were on the right road but after another 30 minutes we couldn’t see the road any more so we turned around. Disappointing…
On the way up we saw the remnants of calving in the Salmon River. I had noticed an area where you could walk out to the icebergs so Richard went out and sat on an iceberg.
During our drive through Hyder to the glacier Richard noticed a bear, in his review mirror, walking across the street. Richard turned down the next street and we found the bear creeping around the local bar. We’re certain he was smelling whatever they cook in the bar and he crawled into an open garage type door only to find beer. Poor thing evidently can’t pop a top so he moved on back the way he came in…our first random bear sighting!
We left Stewart on the 14th and headed to Smithers. Once again it was a one night stay but the woman that parked us was an idiot! We had to wait an hour before the rig that was scheduled to park next to us arrived!! However, our “group”, The Farishes, Dennis and Eddie and the two of us went to dinner. I was put in charge of finding a place since I’m the “picky” eater. Found an outstanding place that even had a gluten free menu! The Riverhouse Restaurant & Lounge, should you ever find yourself in Smithers, BC is absolutely amazing. Lovely decor, fireplace, and huge wood slab table. Service was way above par! My gluten free pasta dish was late coming to the table because our waitress asked the kitchen if it was actually gf pasta…it wasn’t. She then comped the meal, Dennis’s steak was overdone and while he didn’t comment on it, Randie made sure the waitress knew and his was half-off. No complaints from any of us as I was happy just being there with now very good friends. So when you find yourself in Smithers,BC and have the opportunity to dine at the Riverhouse Restaurant and Lounge be sure to ask for Courtney! It was a wonderful quiet night out for the 6 of us.
Next stop was Prince George…Day 58 of 59 Days with the Group. We had a Farewell Dinner Celebration…a feast for the carnivores! Seriously, prime rib, pork ribs, grilled chicken, lamb on a steeeeek! Salads galore and a dessert table to die for! I was able to order a separate meal which was outstanding and some wonderful honeydew melon for dessert. The reminiscing was sooo much fun. We laughed a lot and then Lee wrote and recited an amazing poem about the tour. I hope it is shared via the caravan’s blog.
We departed the caravan on the morning of the 16th. Bittersweet but looking forward to having Dennis and Eddie visit us in March.