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Day 253– 18th August 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on August 18, 2009

Tuesday – Hyder, Alaska

What a difference a day makes

Well, after yesterday’s cold and drizzly rain, it was a pleasure to look out the window and see the sun was out 🙂

After spending some difficult time trying to upload photos for yesterday’s entry, it was one picture at a time or it would fail, I packed up and headed off into the sun. The forecast was good for today and maybe tomorrow, so I better make the most of it and head south for a while.

It did not take long before I was amongst photographic scenery, there was probably things like this yesterday which I never saw 🙂

Not long up the road I came upon the construction zone, this 4 mile section was extremely slippery I had heard from bikers coming the other way so I was a bit cautious, but with the sun out and no rain, it was not so bad, still a few goosy moments though.

Apparently, they have tried to pave that section many times but the landslides keep on stuffing up the road and taking the paved section downhill. It was still a cool day and I had the gear switched on, but the clear air made for nice views all over the place, a pleasure to ride today 🙂

Just as I slowed down for this construction zone I saw a bear just to my right, he went back in the bushes but I did not turn around. He was a black bear and not large, and had a mouth full of grass, but I was not going to upgrade his food source to protein!

Some more nice scenery before I arrived at an unannounced place called Bell II.

The reason I say unannounced, is because all the road signs had been about Hyder, Stewart etc, nothing was mentioned about this place until 2km before where a small sign said fuel, food etc, real strange. I did stop as I wanted some lunch and had a nice soup and sanger. I was not intending fuelling up as there was another spot further down, but I was told by some bikers coming from that way the junction fuel stop is closed, so I topped up here. One chap has been cruising around on a step through Burgman, while these other two on the KLR’s were heading north to Alaska, brave lads, it is cold and wet up there 🙂

I kept on going but not for long, the hot food and the warm clothes were starting to make me fall asleep, so I stopped at the first shady spot for a kip, a nana nap 🙂

That was short and sweet, but it was enough to make me feel more alert. As I continued I kept running through clouds of seeds, after a while I could see that they were the seeds from the Fire Weed, those purple flowers all over the landscape. The strong winds of about 30kn were billowing them everywhere, just another pointer to the change of seasons.

Some more magnificent scenery just around the corner, well just around any corner really 🙂

And for those that don’t like bikes in every shot, here is the same view by itself 🙂

Not long after this I arrived at the junction and I could see why the servo was closed, apparently fuel is flammable, well, the shop burned down so I guess they worked that out eh!!

I had a choice here, continue to Smithers, another 300km or so or slip into Stewart and as the weather was fine I could pitch my tent and dry things out. That was an easy choice, so I turned west and headed for the glaciers and the bear watching. 🙂 It was not long before my choice was proven to be a good one, the scenery was great once again and the glacier was nearly at my feet!

It was not far before I got into Stewart where I went to the visitor centre and asked about camp sites. The only one they had for tents had no WiFi, so when I mentioned about a place in Hyder, he claimed to know nothing, real strange, so I decided to go for a look anyway, as I had seen signs advertising camping there. So, into Stewart and out real quick and just up the road is Hyder, Alaska.

After a misunderstanding by going to the wrong place I ended up at the Sealaska Inn where I found what I needed, a campsite, WiFi, showers and a bar 🙂 What more could I need 🙂

There was an old truck lost under the trees near me, it seemed to have been here a while and was going nowhere I think.

So, up to the bar, this is the zero marker for this road and also is an ending for the Iron Butt Riders, that little box on the wall to the left is for paper towels for bike riders to clean their screens and visors etc 🙂

Inside the bar was another big bear, here I checked email etc and had a beer. I got snagged on the bears claws a few times, they are sharp!

After a short time and after asking the right questions I was directed 4 mile up the road to where the bear viewing boardwalk is sited. It costs to get in, but I have my US parks ticket, so that was a bonus as it allowed me in without paying extra. There are a lot of fish in this creek and it is called Fish Creek funnily enough 🙂

There were lot of people all watching and waiting for the bears. I did see the back of one as it trundled off into the bushes, but that was all, I may have to come earlier, or later!

There was a lot of information on the system that is here, about the fish and bear etc, it made for interesting reading. There were also a lot of dead fish here and the place stunk of rotten flesh, but I guess it is all part of the system 🙂

In between the blue pool and the nice creek system were the seagulls chewing on the dead fish. I asked a ranger about the fish and he said they were mostly killed by the bears. They only eat the nice bits, the eggs and the belly skin and leave the rest.

After that I headed back into Hyder where I saw this cute old(new) log house 🙂

Of course I hit the bar again and after a few beers I got “Hyderised”, this is where you get given a shot of ‘something’, you have to skull it and if you spit it up you shout the bar, I am a cheapskate so I swallowed it, but by crikey it burned 🙄

I met some people there, this is Ryan, a fly in fly out drillers offsider.

Up on the wall is the legends of the Iron Butt Association, these riders have ridden all of the lower 48 states AND Alaska all within a set time limit, usually under 7 days. The lady is BeamerBird, from Oz, she is currently in America about to ride in another Iron Butt ride of 11,000 miles in 11 days. Not bad for someone who was wiped out in Hobart earlier this year and had a wrecked bike and a broken hip. Goodonya Marg 🙂

A whole tour load of people turned up to be Hyderised, most of them did OK, some didn’t, my throat was still burning after 3 beers to cool it down!

This is Kerryn, the bar lady, she was fun 🙂

That is Simon on the left and Nora from Switzerland, they are also heading to Patagonia, but by car and probably flying in between, I may see them around Xmas sometime 🙂

And a couple of photos with me and the bar girls, Robin and Kerryn 🙂

After that it was all downhill, and a short stumble to the tent where I had an extra beer and listened to some music for a while before crashing 🙂 I was not planning on getting up early anyway as I had missed the bears today, so I will probably stay another day, which will give me a chance to see the Salmon Glacier up the road a bit.


Day 266 miles and 428 km
Trip – 31,771 miles and 51,130 km

Cheers
TravellingStrom

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17 Responses to “Day 253– 18th August 09”

  1. Vstrom Charlie said

    Heya Richard,

    I see by the report that you are still in the company of bar room beauties? Glad to see you still enjoying the trip. As you head back south consider stopping back in Eureka. I’ll buy ya a beer and some dinner.

    Charlie

    • Yep, the girls out here are wild and fun 🙂 I won’t be coming back down through Arkansas, so I will miss out on free beer, thanks for the offer though 🙂

      I have to go down through the few remaining states, Washington, Oregon and Idaho before leaving the country in late September.

      Cheers TS

    • Yep, the girls out here are wild and fun 🙂 I won’t be coming back down through Arkansas, so I will miss out on free beer, thanks for the offer though 🙂

      I have to go down through the few remaining states, Washington, Oregon and Idaho before leaving the country in late September.

      Cheers TS

  2. Nick said

    Everclear? That’s hard core man. Awesome pics.

  3. Jantje aka John said

    Richard. Seeing your SPOT I noticed your not in Smithers yet.
    Tried to get a hold of my nephew/niece, no answer. If you would like I’ll keep trying.
    I’ll keep you updated and PM you via the VSRI site regarding their address and phone number.
    Looks like you’re having fun again after all that rain.
    Greetings John VV

    • Hi John

      Thanks for the effort, I never got your emails/comments until after I left Hyder this morning, in the pouring rain, I kept on going and am now in Prince George where I copped a thunderstorm!

      Cheers TS

  4. Duane said

    Richard,
    I have been reading your blog for months and LOVE it! I hate when I “catch up” to where you are blogging, because then I know I have to wait until there is more to read. I am near Portland, Oregon, and wonder when you’ll get to our beautiful state and what your plans are. I’d be happy to help you out with ideas, advice, or even a place to sleep!
    Let me know!
    Duane

  5. don hayward[windinhair] said

    TS,what are you sleeping on mate when in the tent,ie air bed/self inflator?I am setting up for camp touring on the wee,last post was great thanks TS beautiful scenery and informative as usual,I understand you my make the gathering at Urunga in may of 2010 lt would be sensational to meet and chat,cheers Don.

    • Hi Don

      I am sleeping on an Exped 7 down filled sleeping mat, it fills with air as well and is great. I would recommend going the Exped 9 though as it is wider. Even for a short arse like me, a 7 is a bit narrow.

      I may see you at Urunga, it all depends on work, that is if I get a job or not and how free time is.

      Cheers TS

    • Hi friend!

      I’ve just heard from a friend about that amazing stuff, I’m so excited, you’ve got to take a look http://full.jacksonjharper.com

      Yours faithfully, TravellingStrom

  6. Duane said

    Hey, can’t see my original comment, so not sure if it got to you. I’ve been reading your blog for months and LOVE it! I live in Portland, Oregon and would welcome any chance to connect. Let me know if you need any advice, ideas, or a place to sleep.

    Cheers!
    Duane

    • Hi Duane, once I authorise a new comment, the next ones go straight through

      Yep, I will be in Oregan in the next few weeks, so I would love the chance to meet a fellow rider.

      A place to sleep would be nice 🙂

      Cheers TS

  7. Joker said

    Hey there Richard,

    Guy here…..from Organ Pipe Arizona. Remember, we were broke down and you took a pic of us.
    I see you’re in Alaska. Congradulations to you
    Dangerous Dave, the one that was broke down was supposed to be in Alaska by now, but he met a woman and headed back to Oklahoma.

    So, now you have my email……email me and let me know how your doing. Hows the weather up there?

    Joker

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