Alaska Adventure Part 4: The Road to Alaska

Alaska Adventure Part 4: The Road to Alaska

Despite the evening’s entertainment, waking up in Burns Lake was serene. There was an errie mist that hung around our campsite like a cold wet blanket. I walked over to the lake and saw the sun working hard to burn off the fog and reveal a clear blue sky. It was going to be another beautiful day on the road. The three of us were excited and anxious about finally reaching Alaska. It would be 300 more miles to Hyder, but I think we all knew this would be a day of riding we would never forget. We began the morning by brewing some coffee and cooking up some spam and eggs. We were road warriors on a mission.

 

Shortly after setting out, I spotted a gorge I had read about in a ride report. We pulled over and immediately smelled the salmon smokehouse a group of “fisherman” had erected next to the river. We discovered these fisherman were actually conservationists, helping the salmon through the rapids by catching them in long nets and transporting them upstream. Occasionally, they would catch a fish and keep it for jerky. At one point, they caught a fish in front of us, knocked it on the head, and offered “$20?” We wanted to take it to grill by the fire, but we knew there would be no camping tonight in Hyder.

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We continued on until Kitwanga, where we left the Trans Canada Highway and headed North on Highway 37, the start of the Steward-Cassier Highway. This was heavy logging territory, and there were less and less traces of civilization. We were now all alone and becoming part of the country. It was a very peaceful 90 miles, so I pulled over to put my earbuds in to have a soundtrack to match the scenery. As I was speeding up to meet Nate and Fez, I noticed a dark spot that appeared on the side of the road: BEAR!!!!!! I was probably ½ kilometer behind the guys – enough time to slow my bike and pull out my camera. As I slowly crawled by the bear posed for a picture, clearly uninterested in the site of a motorcycle cruising through his country. Spirits were high, as this was the first major bear sighting of the trip.

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The mountains were closing in on the horizon now. We arrived at Mezidian Lake, where we would turn West for our last 30 miles into Stewart and finally Hyder. This stretch of road was my favorite of the trip: Glacier Highway (37A) carves through a steep valley, passing Bear Glacier and ending at the Portland Canal in Stewart. The mountains on either side looked they were painted, with lush green forests, exposed granite, and snow peaks. Waterfalls looked like thin silver strands like tinsel on a Chritmas tree, and I felt like I was in a prehistoric Yosemite. My lungs could not get enough of the cold fresh air that carried smells of pine and wildflowers. Despite being September there was still quite a bit of snowmelt, which supplied the raging river that flowed next to the road.

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I felt special to ride through this place. I knew not many people would ever experience a road like this, and I wanted to be sure to take in as much as possible. We were in such a trance with the views that we rode right past Bear Glacier. Guess we’ll have to take photos there tomorrow. Right now our minds were all on the little outpost at the end of the Salmon River. We arrived at Hyder at 4:30PM on Thursday, September 6th. Fuck yeah.

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Continue Reading The Alaska Adventure

Part 5: Alaska!!

 

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