The wild animal spotting is going well! We were heading along a trail through the park on our morning walk when a Western Screech Owl flew out of a tree right in front of us. He/she watched us from a safe distance but kept pace with us as we walked. A big owl with a huge wing span! The rest of the day was spent hiding from the very hot sun and reading. It has been hot and almost humid at night as well. Every park we have been too has been on a body of water, either a lake or a stream/river. I always thought Loon’s were an eastern Canada bird but we have heard more loons on lakes at night since we started this trip.
We are now officially on the road north to the Yukon and Alaska, on Highway 37. We stopped at Kitwancool another site where the totem poles are standing in their original settings in the village. It is surprisingly quiet at the reserves with no one around to provide any information. Some of the totems are very elaborate and others have only half the pole carved. I would love to know more about them. As we left we had two more bear sitings along the highway. One stopped and was almost posing for photographs the other only popped his head up long enough to determine it was not safe to cross the highway and went back to the bush. I think I followed every shadow along the road side after that thinking it was a bear! Our stop tonight is Meziadin Lake which is the most picture perfect setting I have ever seen. Every site has a view of the lake which is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Even the pit toilets had a beautiful hanging basket outside of each one. People were kayaking and canoeing (Bill as pining for his belly boat) and apparently the fishing was amazing although we did not see any fish come in. Bowie went in for a swim but the Lake was very cold (glacier fed) so no swimming for us. The bugs were also ferocious so we set up the shelter and again thanked out lucky stars we had it with us.
The day before Canada Day and we are headed to Stewart as we heard that their Canada Day and 4th of July are jointly celebrated by Stewart and Hyder Alaska across the border and are supposed to be fun times. The drive in from Hwy 37 is amazing with glaciers coming almost out almost to the edge of the highway. This time we are at the Bear Creek RV park for 2 nights to take in as much of the surrounding area as we can. As it turns out we have cable TV and Bill was finally able to watch one of the UAFA (?) soccer games. Thursday evening the locals started gathering around 8:00 pm and from the looks of most of them they were coming straight out of the bush to join the celebration. Several ladies looked as tough as the men. Music was great but we decided not to stay around to see if any fights broke out. It was fun while it lasted though.
It has rained steadily all night and is cold again. We headed back into town for the Canada Day pancake breakfast to see what is still standing and of course it all was still there although the turn out for breakfast was not as big as the party last night!. Spent a lot of time fooling around trying to get internet to upload the blog and respond to some e-mails but the signal is just not strong enough. Instead we went to Hyder Alaska and took the elevated walkway for viewing black and grizzly bears however it is just not quite the right season for it. Later in the summer when the salmon start running they come to the streams in the area and bear viewing is supposed to be amazing…we will just have to hope we will have another opportunity to see them. Of course we could not leave Hyder without going to the local bar and being “Hyderized”. You have to drink a shot of unknown alcohol straight up no sipping or sniffing, for this you get a certificate that says you were “Hyderized”. Turns out it is straight grain liquor that burns as it goes down (yes I did it too!). The whole bar is papered with dollar bills of all countries (according to the owner there is over $96,000 on the walls of the bar. It started with one customer leaving $1 on the wall in case he had no money for a drink when he got back. That was in 1956 and the tradition continues to this day. Tomorrow we head north again and may not have internet for a couple of days. I hope to catch up with photos for you then.