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Stewart, BC and Hyder, AK

Upon leaving Skagway, we back-tracked up the 11% grade mountain into Yukon, Canada as far as Carcross, where we caught Route 8 heading northeast to the Alaska Highway. The first night we stayed in the city of Teslin with a nice view of Teslin Lake all around us. Still hoping to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, some of us stayed up quite late, but unfortunately no lights were to be seen. The next day we traveled to the junction of the Alaska Highway and Cassiar Highway (Route 37) and spent the night. We had encountered more construction and delays and were glad for the rest at the end of the drive. The third day we turned south on Rt. 37 for our last “touristy” stop – Stewart, BC and Hyder, AK. There was more construction and dusty roads on the way so we washed the car – again – so we could see out the windows. Stewart and Hyder are right next to each other and crossing into Alaska there were no customs agents. Going back into Canada we had to show our passports and answer questions. We just went to see the bears. After doing this for three days they got to know us and kept asking if we saw bears. It was a fun experience. Hyder, Alaska is where the National Park has a walkway over Fish Creek so you can watch the bears feed on the salmon swimming up river to spawn. We went the first day but didn’t see anything. We were disappointed but decided to get up early and be there at 6 a.m. when the walkway opened. The rangers said they always spotted bears early in the morning. So we went – nothing. Went back at noon and saw nothing. Went back at dusk and still saw nothing!! It was very discouraging. Two couples in our group did see bears on the road leaving the walkway area so we were hopeful. The next day we took it easy and drove up to Salmon Glacier. This glacier really showed the markings of a river of ice and gave us another opportunity to experience the massive amount of ice in a glacier. The fog kept drifting by so one moment you were looking at the glacier and the next, it was totally gone! It was a very eerie feeling. On our last night we decided to give the walkway one more look at dusk. Nothing there, but other RVers we had talked to the night before were there, so we shared stories and waited for the bears. We finally gave up and on our way back to the RV, we saw a baby bear disappear down the hill. We decided to turn around and sure enough we got a good look at a black bear and her two cubs. They were so cute but I was glad we had the car for protection. After that successful sighting we decided to try the dump. We were told some bears hang out there so off we went. Sure enough, there were four bears scavenging in the dump. The large female had two cubs and she chased off a smaller male bear. Seven bears in one evening. That was very special. Tomorrow we say good-bye to Alaska and head east for Prince George where we turn south for home.

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