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Beautiful day exploring the city of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? El Faro de Peter RV Park just west of San Luis Potosi, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

Where are they going next? Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

We heard a commotion with lots of splashing water!

It's an interesting situation here at the border of British Columbia and Alaska.

The town of Stewart, British Columbia (pop 500) is located right on the border with Alaska. And the town of Hyder, Alaska (pop 84) is located right at the same border. There is a Canadian border station here, but there is no U.S. border station. It's probably the only place in North America where you can legally cross in to the United States and not be interrogated by the border patrol people!

And so yesterday, we did exactly that...

No border station!

Here's an interesting New York Times article about Hyder and Stewart...


There's not much to see in Hyder itself, but we were there to go to the Fish River observation platform north of town to watch the bears eat the salmon. Between mid July and the end of August, the salmon are running upstream, and there are hundreds of them! The bears regularly come to this same spot in the river to have a meal, and so a viewing platform was built for the people to safely watch this annual event.

We found a spot at the far end to park Sherman, and went to pay our $6 CAD ($5 USD) entrance fee to the National Forest Service here in Alaska. (Paying in Canadian funds is the better deal!) As we were standing in line, a voice from behind us says "Excuse me, but are you Kevin and Ruth?"

Well, yes... we are!

We were pleased to meet Gilles and Carole who have been reading this blog for a couple of years. They are also Mexico RV travelers, so we had a lot to talk about! They were also just entering the viewing area, so we went in together. And afterwards, they were heading up to the Salmon Glacier in their towed vehicle and they said that we could join them! This is a good thing, because it's about 14 kms (8 miles) on a dusty, rough mining road and Sherman would not have enjoyed the drive. He has had enough dusty, rough roads for a while!

Watching for bears.

Unfortunately, we learned that there haven't been many bears so far this year. There were none the day before, but they did have a wolf! Apparently the wolf has made an appearance two days in a row.

Still, it was interesting watching the salmon.

Lots of salmon.

But no bears!

However, they say that you have to be patient, and some people spend all day sitting here waiting for something to happen. The entrance fee is valid for the whole day and they're open 6:00am until 10:00pm. So we decided to head up to the glacier and then stop in at the viewing platform again on the way back.

14 kms (8 miles) later, we arrived at the toe of the Salmon Glacier...

The Salmon Glacier.

To get to the Salmon Glacier, the old mining road crosses the border back into Canada. The Salmon Glacier is located totally in British Columbia, but the only way to see it is via the road from Hyder, Alaska.

Looking in the opposite direction. The Salmon River is fed by the glacier.

This is called a "kettle".

A kettle is formed when a block of ice is separated from the main glacier. When the ice eventually melts, it leaves behind an impression filled with water. The same silt that causes the river to look murky sinks to the bottom of the impression and gives off the pretty turquoise color.

We kept going to the main viewing area of the glacier...

It looks like you're parked right at the base of the glacier, but it's actually quite far away! 

Some people enjoying the view.

I walked up on the opposite side of the road and there was this pretty little pond.

Ruth, and the mountains.

After the glacier, the mining road continues. We went another 20 kms (13 miles) or so just admiring the scenery. Eventually, the road comes to a mining camp located at another glacier. It did look like it continues on further, but that's where we turned around.

 Scenery along the way. 

The two arms of the Berendon Glacier meet.

An ice cave.

Mining camp.

Zoomed in, way high up on the mountain.
Nature is sure fascinating.

Also zoomed in, way high up.

The glacier almost looks like a lake.

We drove back to the bear viewing platform, but with no luck. We spoke to some people who looked like they had been there a long time and there had not been any bears at all.

There were some common merganser ducks though!

We said goodbye to Gilles and Carole... hopefully we will bump into them again some day, perhaps in Mexico! They would like to do our Mexico RV Caravan tour, but first they will have to trade in their 37 foot motorhome for something smaller!

Carole and Gilles.
Thanks for spending the day together and taking us up to the glacier!

We took Sherman over to a nearby gravel pit area where they allow campers to overnight. There were three other rigs and Sherman.

Sherman, parked for the night at GPS 55.972623, -130.061259

After supper, we walked the 1.3 kms (0.8 miles) back to the viewing platform to give the bears a third chance.

Back at the viewing platform, there was still nothing to see but salmon.

On the roadway, there are all kind of warning signs about the bears crossing the road at the entrance booth. We had our bear spray with us. There is a stream running beside the road, and there are a few salmon in that stream, but nowhere near as many as in the main river.

We heard a commotion with lots of splashing water! Didn't see anything, but we are positive it was a bear jumping into the stream to catch a fish. It would have only been about 30 feet away through the bushes! We didn't try to get a better view, and carried on back to Sherman!

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12 comments:

  1. Too bad, no bears. I have seen utube movies of the place, the bears can get quite close and personal.

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    1. Yep, it just wasn't in the cards for us I guess! Oh well, we still enjoyed our day. :-)

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  2. Very pretty area. We like to kayak this time of year to watch the salmon running in the river here at the Comox/Courtenay estuary. A couple of years ago we got to see seals pulling apart a salmon - gruesome but amazing at the same time, same thing with bears! They have to eat too

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    1. Sounds like it would be a wonderful place to kayak. This stream was too shallow to kayak in and they wouldn't have let you anyhow.

      Yes, nature is an amazing thing and cruel as well but everything has to live and eat, it is just the circle of life.

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  3. Thanks for the great photos. We drove up toward the glacier too but we were there too early in the season and ran into snow on the road. Even with my 4 x 4 truck it wasn't safe to continue. Now I know what we missed thanks to you!
    Oh, and we were also too early for the bears in the creek too, but we didn't have to pay $6.00 !! Safe journey.

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    1. That's the problem with going earlier in the season but then again it would have it's own pluses, like not as many tourists and perhaps seeing more baby animals and seeing all the snow capped mountains. I am glad that we were able to show you what you missed, sorry we couldn't show you the bears at the viewing platform though. :-(

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  4. We will definitely put Hyder and Stewart close to the top of our bucket list! Hopefully we’ll be lucky to see the bears feeding...that would be the price for the trip! The glacier pictures are magnificent! Thanks for the blog and continue with safe travels.

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    1. You need to make sure that you see this area in August though if you want a chance to see the bears at the viewing platform because that is when the salmon are there.

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  5. Glad you made it to the Salmon Glacier. It always seems to be cloudy there. Looks like the cloud cover for you was a higher elevation as you have some great pictures of it.

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    1. We are too! It was very lucky that we met Carole and Gilles at the viewing platform otherwise we would have missed out on the Salmon Glacier. Both Kevin and Sherman have had enough of gravel roads at the moment! ;-) We were very lucky that we had a decent day weatherwise too!

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  6. The Glacier sure looks like a wonderful stop and love the scenery, nice to see the salmon running they are amazing.

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    1. It was pretty cool to see the glaciers up close like that, still not as good as the day we had our glacier flight and landing though!

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