Friday, August 8, 2014

Alaska Adventure–Days 33 & 34

Note that there are TWO blogs in this entry, so be sure to scroll all the way down!!

Day 33 – Teslin YT to Dease Lake BC

We drove in rain most of the morning as we continued retracing our steps along the Alaska Highway.  A few miles west of Watson Lake, YT, we turned south onto the Cassiar Highway.  The Cassiar Highway was a new road for us, as it cuts down south through the central part of British Columbia.  For the first 60 miles it was like driving on a moon scape as all the trees on both sides of the road and as far as the eye could see were burned, and only dead trees remained.  Four years ago they had a huge fire that burned nearly 75,000 acres of forest.  We were a little surprised at the condition of the road for the first 150 or so miles, as it was very narrow and not marked - and very rough.  It seems the standard repair technique for frost heaves in this section is to simply remove the road and back-fill with gravel. 

After several hours of bumping, bouncing, and slowing to a crawl for rough spots we finally made it to Dease Lake and stayed at the Water’s Edge RV Park.  The park is nothing special - with no water or electric.  They did have a very slow internet but that ended at 10PM when the owner shut off the generator!  Looks like there is a nicer park on the other side of town.

Here are some of our last views from the Alaska Highway



After turning onto the Cassiar Highway, this was the view for miles and miles.  It felt kind of spooky - especially because there was almost no traffic and no towns.


Todays Stats:

Miles driven: 311 miles
Hours on road: 7 hours, 5 minutes
Gas prices: $5.65




Day 34 – Dease Lake BC to Meziadin Lake BC with side trip to Hyder AK

After leaving Dease Lake, we were very happy as the road improved significantly.  There were still a few gravel sections but where there was pavement it was fairly smooth.  The farther south we drove, the more dense and prettier the forest became.  The distant mountains were breathtaking with snow-capped peaks and low hanging clouds.  We arrived at the Meziadin Lake Provincial Park, which is at the junction of the road going to Hyder, AK.  After setting up camp, we made the 40 mile trip to Hyder, which is the furthest southern town in Alaska that you can drive to.  The town is located on that long finger of Alaska that stretches south along British Columbia.  The main purpose for going to Hyder was to watch the bears at Fish Creek.  The forest service has build a large viewing platform along the banks of Fish Creek where you can safely watch bears feed on the salmon in the creek.  It was raining when we arrived, but we weren’t disappointed, as there was a large grizzly bear snacking on salmon in the creek right below the viewing platform.

The drive from the Cassier Highway junction to Hyder was one of the most beautiful we have experienced on the whole trip.  Even though it was raining, the views were amazing, as there were at least two glaciers and many multi-stage water falls right along the road.  The whole area had the feel of a rain forest, as everything was green and there was moss growing on all the trees and rocks.  The border crossing back into Canada was the quickest and simplest yet.



Now where did that salmon go…


Yum… that was good….now where is the next one…


Tree roots growing out into the stream of glacier fed water




Moss growing on a dead tree


Todays Stats:

Miles driven: 307 miles
Hours on road: 5 hours, 15 minutes
Gas prices: $5.68, $5.20



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