The drive to Stewart was incredible! The road winds down a narrow valley between towering peaks topped by blue glaciers. Stewart itself was not much to look at as the town is a bit run down, to be honest. They did have a nice boardwalk that meanders out over an estuary providing an unobstructed view of the surrounding peaks and the ocean. A two minute drive across the boarder took us to the sister town of Hyder,Alaska. There is no American customs building going from Stewart to Hyder. Upon further investigation, we were told it’s because one the residents in Hyder burnt it to the ground and threatened to destroy it again if it was rebuilt. Interestingly, the Canadian customs building has never had any issues.
Estuary in Stewart, BC
Once through Hyder, we followed a narrow, gravel road that wound its way up a steep mountain edge about 30 minutes to the foot of the Salmon Glacier. The glacier snaked its way between two mountains across from us and down the valley right in front of us. We spent the evening watching the sunset and making Mom nervous by walking too close to the cliff edge. On the way back from the glacier, we stopped at Fish Creek, a viewing station for bears eating salmon. It was the tale-end of the salmon spawning season, so there were plenty of fish in the water, both alive and dead. We were lucky enough to see a huge, fat grizzly fishing in the stream. It was explained to us that the bears didn’t even bother eating the meat of the fish anymore because they were so fat. They had had so much to eat that they just took out the most nutrient rich parts of the fish, like the fat and eggs, and didn’t waste any time eating the rest, kind of like eating pumpkin pie after a thanksgiving dinner. On our way out we had to count our change in order to pay because we didn’t realize that we weren’t carrying much in terms of cash.
This morning, we ran across the American border for our morning run and had fun crossing back on foot. We then enjoyed lunch at a cafe called Toastworks; their identifying feature is all the antique appliances they have displayed on and around the tables. The rest of the day was spent driving to Prince Rupert where we would continue on to Haida Gwaii. We arrived at around 10:30 in the dark, which caused me to notice how much shorter the days were compared to further north. Because we arrived late and planned on getting up early to make the ferry, we camped in a Walmart parking lot conveniently located only minutes away from the ferry terminal.