August 4, 2009
Today we slept in again—we love to do that on free days, and then caught a little lunch at a deli in Stewart. Then we headed out to Hyder to see the bears.
Hyder is actually in Alaska. There is no U.S. Customs that we have to cross to go to Hyder, but we do have to cross Canadian customs coming back from Hyder. We just drove across in our jeep, but we hauled our passports back and forth each day. Like a lot of towns, Hyder was a big deal during the gold rush days—holding as many as 10,000 people at one time. But when the rush faded, so did Hyder. It has about 100 people that live there full time.
When we arrived at the viewing area around 1:30 we learned that at least two bears had come in during the morning and been very entertaining. We sat down with our books, made ourselves comfortable, and read while we waited on the bears to come.
This was one of the most relaxing free days we had on the whole trip.
Our patience was rewarded when about 3:00 another bear came down the stream and spent time chasing salmon and eating.
I got some pretty good movies of the bear
and Susan got some good photos.
We declared victory, then went back for an early dinner at the Bitter Creek Café again. This time we were joined by John and Wanda, and Terry.
When we finished there, Susan and I returned to bear watching. A bear was already in attendance. We stayed on watching until dark,
then a group of us went to the SeaAlaska Inn to get Hyderized. One gets Hyderized in Hyder at one of the bars there. It involves drinking a shot and keeping it down.
If you fail to keep it down, you buy a drink for everyone in the bar. They make a ritual out of the process in the Hyder bars. They even issued me a certificate for being Hyderized.
We even Hyderized Mr. Bill—Oh No!
Susan drove us back through Canada and back to our coach. This was our final trip into Alaska.
It is all Canada now until we get back to the USA.