Alaska - 2007

Destruction Bay, YT -
Hyder, AK

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 Seventh Stage:  Day 27 - Day 28 - Day 29

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Day 27 - July 23: Destruction Bay, YT - Teslin, YT

Today's Mileage: 295  Total Mileage: 6,918  Start: 8 am Stop: 4 pm

Weather: Another nice day, sunny, high 60's

Hotel: Yukon Motel - basic, nice motel - nothing special, but for the Alaskan Highway quite good

Breakfast: At Hotel Lunch: Tim Horton's (Whitehorse) Dinner: At Motel

Comments: After 30 minutes we ran into a construction delay - the whole road was being redone and rerouted. We were the first in line and the delay was going to be 15 to 30 minutes - we were lucky, it was only 15 min. From then on it was clear sailing the rest of the day, except for construction on a bridge which did not hold us up.

In Haines Junction we stopped at the Village Bakery which I had read about in the Milepost. We got there 1 minute before a Holland America bus unloaded - this time we beat the 'bus' people. I didn't know it was this famous.

Right next door was the Kluane National Park Visitor Center. Good location for the bakery! The park is the continuation of the Wrangell St. Elias National Park in Alaska.

Also in Haines Junction was a church built out of a Quonset Hut and a wildlife sculpture, maybe the largest one in the world - but I'm not sure about that.

Our next destination was Whitehorse and Tim Horton's for lunch. They really have good food, excellent coffee and the 13 year-old employees. Everybody was looking forward to this since we enjoyed it so much on the way to Alaska. It was almost like coming home! Naturally we had to make a stop at Wal-Mart.

Just before Whitehorse we passed the junction for the Klondike Highway which we took 2 weeks ago to Dawson City. When we passed this junction we had traveled the whole route of the Alaska Highway.

Next stop Mukluk Annie's, about 10 miles from Teslin. When we had lunch there on the way to Alaska we couldn't take advantage of their offer of a free boat ride since they do this at night. We sent Arnie in to see if we could take the boat ride tonight. NO PROBLEM!

There was a little delay checking into the motel - our rooms were not ready even though it was after 4 pm. I wouldn't have minded so much if they apologized, but they told me that people who want to check in at 4. shouldn't expect their rooms to be ready! They throw you out at 11, but you can't expect the room to be ready by 4?  About 5 we finally got into the rooms.

And tonight we took the boat ride on Teslin Lake with Mukluk Chuck as the Captain. Nice ride - it's a long lake - 72 miles!

Our next stop is Dease Lake, British Columbia. Rose and Jeanne are looking forward to tomorrow - we will be in jade country!

Click to see a larger Picture

Destruction Bay -
Construction At the Bakery Sculpture  
 - - - - - - -   At the Visitor Center   - - - - - - -    
- - - - - - - - -   Quonset Hut Church  - - - - - - - - -    
 - - - - - - - - - - - -   Boat Ride   - - - - - - - - - - - - - Motel  

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Day 28 - July 24: Teslin, YT - Dease Lake, BC

Today's Mileage: 295  Total Mileage: 7,213  Start: 8 am Stop: 3:30 pm

Weather: Rain in the morning, later just cloudy - in the 50's

Via: Alaska Highway (AK-1) to Cassiar Highway
       Cassiar Highway (BC-37) to Dease Lake

Hotel: Northway Motor Inn - we have a kitchenette, so we had dinner in the room; clean place, they now have wireless Internet in all the rooms which they didn't have when I made the reservations, but it's slow!

Breakfast: At Hotel Lunch: In the Van Dinner: At Hotel

Comments: When we checked out this morning the maid wanted to get in the rooms at 8 am for the laundry - this after they made us wait till 5 last night to get in the room! I liked the place, but I didn't like what we had to put up with - perhaps because they are the only game in town.

By 11 am we were on the Cassiar Highway and thought we could eat in Jade City - since this was a shopping experience. But the food committee let us down - there are only 12 residents in Jade City and no place to eat. Fortunately they did have some jade, although it was not exactly what we had expected.

The closest place to eat was Dease Lake - which was 1.5 hours away and our final destination for the day. But not to worry - we had stuff in the van and did not go hungry!

There were some minor repairs being made on the Cassiar and about 20 miles was gravel with lots of potholes. Not too much fun. But the best is yet to come - about 30 miles are under construction tomorrow with pilot cars in some sections. Many of the road crew is staying in the hotel with us.

Tomorrow Hyder, Alaska - the only town accessible by road in Southwest Alaska.

Click to see a larger Picture

Teslin -
Dease Lake
- - - - -   Along Cassiar Highway  - - - - -    
- - - - - -  Jade City  - - - - - - - -  Northway Motor Inn  - -  

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Day 29 -  July 25: Dease Lake, BC - Hyder, AK (Stewart, BC)

Today's Mileage: 256  Total Mileage: 7,469  Start: 8 am Stop: 3:30 pm

Weather: Excellent day, mostly sunny; low 70's

Via: Cassiar Highway (BC-37) to BC-37A
        BC-37A to Stewart, BC/Hyder, AK

Hotel: Grand View Inn - considering it's the end of the world here, this is a nice motel. But - no TV, no telephone, no Internet

Breakfast: At Hotel Lunch: Bell II Lodge Dinner: Seafood Express (Bus)

Comments: After about 10 miles we hit the construction on the highway. For about 40 miles it was gravel & potholes, but the delays were only minor other than going slow. After 3 hours we had covered about 100 miles. Then it went a little faster.

We stopped at two lodges, which are like rest areas except that they might have facilities for staying overnight such as a motel, cabins, RV park, etc. The first one was just a short stop (Tartogga Lake Resort) and the other one Bell II Lodge was for lunch. The Bell II Lodge was one of the best lodges we have run across, they offer helicopter hiking tours, skiing, etc.

Almost the whole day we traveled along the Coast Mountains with their snow-covered peaks. We saw two bears, one on the side of the road, the other one crossed the road right in front of us. Also some wild horses, but I can't get excited about seeing horses!

Once we got on BC-37A we started to go through the mountains to the coast. Along the way we found the Bear Glacier, which was just across the river.

The on to Stewart, BC and Hyder, AK. The towns are just 2 miles apart - but in different countries. Hyder is the only town in Southwest Alaska which can be reached by a road. Also, it has no paved roads. And the ones that they do have are in bad shape.

Dinner was the Seafood Express. Diana cooks in an old school bus and the diners sit outside on picnic tables, or on bus seats that were once inside the bus. Or you can sit inside on picnic tables in a shed. The dinner was quite good!

The claim to fame for Hyder is bear viewing in the Tongass National Forest. It's about 3 miles from Hyder where a boardwalk has been constructed so that the bears can be seen without anyone getting hurt. So off we went to see some bears.

On the way we found one along the road. Shortly after we got to the boardwalk a bear started to play in the river. You can hardly ask for more cooperation. We heard that a female bear with 3 cubs show up at times, but not while we were there.

Tomorrow we will be on our way to Smithers, BC.

Click to see a larger Picture

Dease Lake -
Construction - - -  Tartogga Lake Resort  - - - Bell II Lodge Cassiar
Bear Glacier Tongass National Forest  
 - - - - - - - - - - -   Seafood Express   - - - - - - - - - - - Hyder Grandview Inn

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