Steve and Connie's Alaska Roadtrip 2015 travel blog

Canadian customs marker. Canada on left, US on right. The opening that...

We started our day at the Forest Service wildlife viewing area, and knew we were out of luck when we were the only vehicle there. Salmon hasn't started running here yet, so the bears are not showing up yet. They are still in the hills eating blueberries. We will have to go looking for them in the hills since it seems they won't come to us at the squeeze point while we are here. Hopefully, we have other opportunities. The Tongass National Forest is 17 million acres, with 11,000 miles of shoreline. How hard could it be to find them?

Since we missed the bears today, we drove up to the Salmon Glacier. It is now only the 5th largest glacier in BC, but at its largest it covered most of Alaska and British Columbia. We took some photos, and hope to be able to post at least one. We spotted a couple of other interesting things along the way. Halfway up the mountain is a silver colored marker. Mining and logging are huge parts of Canada's economy, and this area has lots of both. Apparently, the border between the US and Canada was not finally established here until 1903. These is a mine very close to the established border. From the 1920s until the 1950s the miners and residents of the mining camp had to stop at the Canadian customs building at the point of this marker halfway up the mountain every day. Directly above the marker you can still see the clearing where an aerial tramway had been built to haul the ore across the river valley to the mill.

We also had a chance to take a look at the original Hyder AK. It was a gold rush town built on wooden pilings down down by the harbor. (If you are from south Florida, think Stiltsville.) Mining towns boom and bust, and this one busted by the end of the gold rush. The only thing left of the original town is the wooden pilings that can be seen all around the harbor area. A newer town with the same name was built farther back from the harbor more recently.

We stopped for late lunch at the restaurant we had been told by many was the best in the area. It is family run. Husband and sons fish, wife runs the restaurant out of an old school bus. The food was excellent, and since it is early in the season for them, the wife spent an hour or so visiting with us. She told us where to find the bears, so wish us luck for the rest of the week.

July 1 is Canada Day, so Hyder and Stewart celebrate "International Days" from 7/1 through 7/4 with several festival events. Tonight we will be checking out the Dinner in the Park Beer Garden. Supposedly it has bonfires and fireworks to cap the evening, but it doesn't get dark until around 11:00 pm. Seems like a peculiar time on a Tuesday night for fireworks, but I guess the Canadians are all off tomorrow. There will be a parade tomorrow on the Stewart side.

Will try to post a few pix if possible. Have a great evening!

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