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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hazelton to Vernon ~ The Awesome.......

This blog is being written in a place called Bell II (Heliskiing  LTD) Vernon, BC. A resort that caterers to skiers who helicopter up to the top of mountains and ski back down. Nice campground with whirlpool and sauna. WiFi is available but it will cost you $20.00 (Satellite coverage) no thank you! I’ll post the blog later.

I did get a picture this morning of the suspension bridge, even did a little video, I’ll see if I can upload later. 

Glacier on the road to Stewart
Suspension Bridge in Hazelton
Here’s the deal on today. Out the door early and headed for the Cassiar Highway. First impression was the road sign that said road open; second sign; check your fuel! OK on both. Roadsides paved with wild flowers growing abundantly, white daisy’s, yellow buttercups, devils whips and with silver-green aspen leaves blow in the breeze. Next observation, no traffic, well it’s early, an hour or so later one truck south bound. Hmm, I like solitude. Helen says bear… I stop the truck backup, remember no traffic, grab the point and shoot camera for a picture. First bear so, so capture on the picture. Continue down the road for another couple of hours, now we begin to see these piles of scat periodically along the road, but always on the edge and never crossing the gutter white line. Very considerate moose or was it bear? It was bear.

We are now looking for our turn off to Stewart and see this sign for a Provincial Campground called Meziadin Lake; I turned down into the entrance road and checked it out. The lake was like a mirror, the campsite right on the water, restrooms even WiFi, all for $12. Not really, we are seniors so it’s only six dollars. The day was too early for a camp site, the glaciers, mountains and whatever was waiting for us just over the next mountain pass.

Left on highway 37A. This is it a forty-four mile trip (one way) to adventure. Two miles in on this road another black bear. This time I have my D7000 Nikon and got a pretty good shot of him.

Going into this high mountain pass, the weather was not the best, low clouds, misty sometimes drizzling but as we got further in, the snow fields got closer to us. The creeks (brooks where we come from) were getting bigger, water falls everywhere. You could see brown snow from the landsides. The mountain tops getting higher and higher. We are surrounded by mountains and glaciers on both sides. Franconia Notch gone on steroids!  I can’t believe how little traffic there is on this road to Stewart.

Actually backed the truck
out of Alaska for this picture.
Further down the road, a concrete bridge has been washed away by the recent spring flood. A bailey bridge was erected next to it. We approached, take pictures move on to the town. Stewart is a small town maybe a dozen paved streets, plenty of closed stores, one visitor center, in perfect shape and well stocked with literature and this lovely lady who answered our questions. What’s to visit and do in this town I ask? Been to Salmon Glacier? Nope. She said it’s the only glacier in the world that you drive right up to in your car. How far? 22 miles that way. Another traveler in the center says sure but it will take you all day, pot holes you know. What else can we visit? The bear view area up at Fish Creek. “How far”? 4 miles, ok, were headed. Which way? Go left to Hyder, Alaska. Any border officials, not in the way in but you need passport to get back into Canada. OK we are all set on that.

Helen in Canada & me
in Alaska!! I miss her!
Two miles down the road we crossed into Hyder, AK, so far the road has been paved but not anymore. The main street is terrible, two miles any hour. You can only access Hyder from Canada. Pickup two geocaches, one in Hyder and the other at visitor center Stewart. Move on up the road to fish creek to view the bears. Two 20 minute waits for a flagger (road construction). No fish runs No bears!

Back track 44 miles to Cassair Hwy head north for another 99 miles to Bell II. One more bear crossing the road.

A surveyor at the campground/resort tells us about the area, the mining for copper, nickel and gold. He mentions that he fly’s in a helicopter to different areas and his job and they always see Grizzly Bears in all locations. Interesting!

Good night but it’s nearly 11 pm and still daylight.

That is what we did and saw

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