Alaska Adventure Part 6: The Merry Ferry

Alaska Adventure Part 6: The Merry Ferry

Leaving Hyder, I requested to Nate and Fez that we stop at Bear Glacier for some photos. The day before, we had been so focused on reaching Alaska that we had passed it completely. Bear Glacier is along the scenic Highway 37A, and just a few decades earlier was encroaching on the road. Now receding each year, it is slowly disappearing, but still makes for a great photo opp. Nate was cranky and did not want to stop, but he cheered up after showing the glacier what he thought of it.

We hung out at Bear Glacier for a while, challenging each other who could throw rocks into the lake below. It was much further away than it appeared, and I got a good kick out of watching Nate throw rocks looking like a disabled grandma. Casual moments like this were common on the trip. We never felt pressured or rushed, and very rarely did we get on each others nerves or complain. 3 is a great number for a trip like this, it’s a natural balance.

We had discussed the route back, but were not sure whether we would be able to time our return to catch a ferry from Prince Rupert. We did not want to backtrack all the way through British Columbia, and even though the ferry is not the cheapest or fastest option, we decided to make our way to Prince Rupert to try for the early morning ferry to Port Hardy on Victoria Island.

The ride to Prince Rupert brought us back along Highway 37, one of the most enjoyable stretches on the trip. We connected back with the Trans Canada Highway and headed West to Prince Rupert. It was a short 275 miles, but the final leg into Prince Rupert saw us stretching our tanks to over 150 miles. The gas in Canada was fantastic, and we often made 140 miles before hitting our reserves. The final 90 miles from Terrace into Prince Rupert was a beautiful ride along the Skeena River. A wide, picturesque river basin with rolling mountains gave us a preview to what we would see on the ferry ride the following day.


An early night for us, we woke up at 4AM to get down and strap our bikes onto the deck. The ferry was a very modern boat, and for the next 14 hours would be ferrying us along the beautiful British Columbia coast. Nate made friends with a nice woman in the cafeteria who arranged for us to visit the captain on the deck of the boat. As we were on the bridge we spotted several whales crossing our bow, although I came up short on spotting a pod of Killer Whales. The route through the channels was an incredible mix of blue and green, as steep forested mountains abruptly end at the water’s edge. I wanted to explore every one of the islands we passed. Every once in a while there would be an old industrial outpost from a different time. Despite the trip we had ahead, it was hard to rest and sleep during the boatride. A beautiful and relaxing day, but little did we know what lay ahead.


Continue Reading The Alaska Adventure

Part 7: The Long Ride Home