24 August (Stewart, BC/Hyder, AK)

24 August – Well, we did it! We went to the bear viewing site at 6:00am, and saw a female grizzly (tagged by the name of Mirror) dining on salmon right on schedule. She dove into the water and caught a live one, ate it, then went back into the woods for some berries, etc. The forest ranger says they are getting pretty tired of all the salmon now and getting ready for hibernation. None of us got any really good pics of her because she was moving so fast.
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Then, we ate breakfast in Hyder, AK (Glacier Inn). This was another restaurant that papers their walls with dollar bills (but, this time mostly Canadian dollars). We decided to leave our American dollars, and they are posted under the Gift Shop sign in the back of the restaurant. So, if you go there, look us up!
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Next, we drove 16 miles of mountain dirt, rough, narrow road up 3,686 feet to Salmon Glacier (Stewart, BC). People said the sight would knock our socks off, and they were correct. This was the most spectacular sight we’ve seen. It’s so awesome to look down on TOP of a glacier! Of course, the 2 Dunham children had to go up even higher to stand on the edge of the 3,686 ft. drop to get a better vantage point. Ron and Connie used better judgment (since they are both a little freaked out by height). Ron drove the whole thing, and probably would not have done so if he had known what it would be like.
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Once on top of the glacier, we met “Bear Man”, who sells DVD’s and postcards of the area. This man has been doing this for 30 years! He lives in his car and/or little tent up there in the summertime. Since this area gets 50 ft. of snow in the winter, we’re sure he will be coming down off the mountain soon! He told us that it’s pretty normal for folks (mainly women) to throw up after reaching the top. We’re not sure if he meant that was from the altitude or from the sheer fear of the drive up there. Oh, did we mention we have not been bothered by mosquitoes this whole trip? Well, when we got out of the truck up there, the air was black with them! Whoa! Out with the spray!
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Back down to Hyder, AK and stopped at the General Store and talked with the local owner and learned a lot about Hyder.
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Apparently, there were 10,000 residents in Hyder around 1970 and then the gold prices dropped, killing the industry. Now, there are 55 people—thus the term “Friendliest Ghost Town in Alaska.” Hyder has no police department, medical facilities, school (they lost their school and teacher when 2 of their students graduated a few years ago) or anything but a couple of restaurants and a general store. Note: Keep in mind that each time we go into Hyder, AK we don’t need a passport. However, coming back into Stewart, Canada a passport is required. It’s best to keep your passport on your person at all times.
We were referred to “The Bus” in Hyder for fresh halibut and chips, etc. for dinner. It was THE best halibut we have ever had. It was a unique dining experience. Pictures on the wall show this is the spot where Robin Williams was filmed in the movie “Insomnia” in 2001.
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