Saturday, August 18, 2012

From Whitehorse to K'san

After we left Whitehorse we lunched at Boya Lake. A sign that said fire camp pointed in the way we went, but then up to an administrative area.
We didn't smell smoke, but then William spotted the fire.
fire smoke over my head

We camped that night at Kinaskan Lake. Float planes were taking off from the lake.

Every once in a while there were delays on the Cassiar Highway, either for road repair or power line construction.
We were stopped as a helicopter picked up logs from the power line clearing and stacked them in giant teepees to be burnt in winter.

Lots of scenery along the road and we stopped to take pictures of Bear Glacier.

Bear Glacier

We checked in at Rainey Creek Campground in Stewart, British Columbia. We heard that last year it was rainy or cloudy all but nine days in the summer. This year has been much nicer.
We headed for lunch to the “Bus” in Hyder, Alaska. It was a long wait for lunch, but worth it.
At the "Bus" the kitchen is a bus

We came to Hyder to watch the bears eat fish. The park service has a fish viewing platform above Fish Creek. The fish are running but the bears prefer to eat in the early morning and in the evening. So we decided to take the road up to the top of Salmon Glacier. Many miles of incredibly bad road. Part of the road is being redone, but the rest has been beaten to death by heavy trucks hauling mining equipment. Hardly an inch between huge potholes. The summit is lovely and we hang out for a few hours to get unjoggled.
the toe of Salmon Glacier

Salmon Glacier

William at the Summit of Salmon Glacier

Back down the mountain rattlety bang to find a parking spot near Fish Creek.
mist over fish creek as we head to the observation platform

 Our Golden Ages passes get us on to the platform for free. But we wait and wait. There are lots of fish, coho I think.

 But where are the bears? Finally as dusk begins to settle a huge black bear, 8-900 pounds, shows up.
too dark for my camera to take a good picture of the bear

 He has been here earlier in the day and is not too hungry. He catches a few fish and takes a few bites then ambles up and down the creek. The fish swim madly out of his way.
Assessing damages later at the campground from the bad road to the glacier, we find the shoe hanger has broken, but next morning we find parts in Stewart and it is better than new.
On 8/17 we planned to get to Smithers. But events got in the way. We were on the Yellowknife Highway and had just passed Seeley Lake when there was a huge crash. We pulled over and find that we have joined the numerous ranks of people who lose tread on the highway. We creep up to a flat spot at North Boundary road. The tire was not flat, but by the time we read the manual to find the jack and tools, it has gone flat, complicating the job.
William jacking up the tire. You can see where the tread peeled off.
  I help as much as I can. Two girls Alissa and Cindy stop in separate vehicles to help. William gets the tire changed and Cindy who lives around the corner has a tire pump for the really low spare tire. We creep slowly into Hazelton, aware that our other tires are potential time bombs. Drat that bad road. Those tires only had 22K miles on them.
We find Mount N View tire shop. A tiny operation, but they assess the tires and sell us replacements for the rear tires, pump up the spare, replace it and rebalance the front tires which seem OK.
Pleasure Way at Mount N View tire shop
We are stopping in Hazelton overnight at K'san campground to recover from our trauma.
This is a First Nation campground. They were just finishing up a salmon BBQ. We went over after showering up and were served for free, since they were just finishing up. They said we must stay for the Cultural Days Celebration over the weekend. So we stay.
We begin the day at the Historical K'san Village. There is a museum, gift shop and replica long houses. These houses replicate their former winter homes. They escaped contact with the white man until 1870, so their culture was not so decimated as many. We go on the tour, that is very worthwhile. You can only take pictures outside.

Then on to the Cultural Celebration that takes place on a huge grassy field next to the campground. Lots of lovely costumes, heavy in this hot weather.

 William says it is not more than 80 degrees, but the sun is bright and we use the big umbrellas as sun shades. I run through the kids sprinkler at the side of the RV park office.
I always like to try different food, so I am thrilled to find a vendor selling herring eggs and seaweed on rice.

 William has a taste, but chooses a clam chowder from another vendor. Herring eggs are kind of crunchy, but I thought it was good. Not as strong as pickled herring I had in Munich. I liked that also.
A small drummer caught my eye. I thought he looked a bit like Ben.
littlest drummer
 They were having another Salmon BBQ. This time we paid for the BBQ. Good stuff.  

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