We registered and pulled into our campsites in the Bear River campground around 3pm. It was still raining a bit and the roadway was pretty muddy. Luckily the sites were well- drained gravel and there was nice grass on each side. They did have a funny arrangement for the utilities I had not seen prior. Each site was paired with another site. We were in 16A & 16B. The B site you nosed in to the site and the A site you backed in. The utilities were shared in the middle between you. There was a note that you shouldn’t both dump at the same time. There were two access ports, but it was just a Y pipe to a single sewer pipe below. I guess it would be bad if two large tanks were dumped at the same time. Not something I wanted to test!
Later that afternoon we drove over to Hyder, and the most surprising thing happened: There wasn’t a border checkpoint on the US side. We passed a Canadian border checkpoint but nothing, nada, no wall or even a fence was to be seen. We then kept driving thru Hyder and then on to Fish Creek, which is probably 8-10 miles north of the small hamlet. I got a chuckle reading this sign on a “store” along the road in Hyder.
They are now charging $5 to enter the boardwalk at Fish Creek, and for $10 you got a three-day pass. There were so many salmon in the creek, I couldn’t believe there wouldn’t be a zillion bears having dinner, but we didn’t see one.
We left and headed back toward Stewart. I had read about a great place to eat, so I drove by it on the way back. We checked out The Bus. It didn’t look like much and I wasn’t expecting our compatriots were impressed. We kept driving and arrived at the Canadian Border crossing. The gal took our passports and ran them thru her handheld machine and appeared to be make notes as she asked the usual questions: weapons, alcohol and cannibis products. After she was finished, I asked her where the good food is in the area and she immediately said it was at The Bus. She also mentioned the Prince Edward Hotel, but qualified that with, it just turned into a Chinese restaurant.
As we drove off, we started discussing our dinner plans for The Bus.
Each day we made at least two trips to Fish Creek to see the bears. The fish were starting to die and a couple days in it started getting a bit smelly with all the rotting fish on the banks of the creek. I think it was the second evening when we finally saw a bear, although it was very briefly as he was eating berries and didn’t get into the water. He was on the other side of the blue lagoon.
I had been noticing logging trucks driving past the campground for a couple days and decided to take a drive down that road to see where they were going. It wasn’t far, but there was a port area that had lots of trees piled up, ready for shipment to China and Japan. One of the workers told me a cargo ship came in about once a month to load them and take them on their way.
I wanted to go to see Salmon Glacier, which was about 25 miles past Fish Creek on a gravel road. No one else wanted to go, assuming there would be a really rough road. Luckily for me that wasn’t the case and it was one of the most spectacular drives I had ever been on. The scenery was like what I’d expect to see in the Alps once we get there. And at the summit the view was indescribable. The road did get really narrow at one point, and there were a few areas of potholes, but most were easily driven around. Most of the road appeared to have been recently graded, except for the narrow area that appeared to have recently had a slide of dirt come down the hillside. I wouldn’t take my motor home up there, but any car can get there easily. It’s worth the drive.
The last evening we were going to be in town we drove to The Bus for dinner again (3rd time) for our last halibut fish and chips. It’s right up there with the best Halibut I have had. The first night Kathy and Sue had the halibut cheeks, what we heard are the best part of a halibut. The taste was out of this world.
After dinner Larry drove us out to Fish Creek for the last time, and as we came around a small bend in the road, a black bear moseyed out in front of us. We were going slow (the speed limit there is 20 MPH) and we just watched him cross about 10 feet in front of us.
When we got to the creek, there was the smell again and noticeably fewer fish in the creek. There were no bears and I figured the one we saw, which was heading away from the creek, was the one we had seen the prior evening.
We headed back to the border crossing for what I think will be the last crossing back into Canada for this trip.
In the morning we headed out in the bright sunshine for the drive up the mountain to Meziadin Jct.