We’re in Alaska…Already? Check Your Map!

Yesterday’s drive was long and tiring prompting some discussion about whether we should try to shorten our journey. But, after some calculating by the calculus tutor Rebecca announced it would be less than four hours difference if we took Yellowknife Yellowhead Highway to Cassiar or if we went directly north to Dawson Creek from Prince George. The benefit of taking the western route was that we had the opportunity to visit the southernmost point of Alaska. Through a democratic vote we decided to continue our plans to see Hyder, Alaska. What a great choice!

Yep, in Alaska already :)  At least for a half hour.

Yep, in Alaska already 🙂
At least for a half hour.

The Yellowknife is a beautiful road sprinkled with small towns every 50 miles or so. It was easy to drive and though more rural we felt it was well traveled.But then we turned onto the Cassiar Highway. Suddenly towns and, more especially, gas became rare. Still. The drive was amazing. The day was perfect. We drove out of Canada into the teeny town of Hyder and the temperature was a balmy 80. Of course, we were loving it but the residents thought it was a little too warm.

Hyder is the southernmost town of Alaska, making it onto the map by the teeniest margin. They boast 100 residents, and it appeared one high school graduate (they were having a town party while we were there). Students go to the Canadian town close for school and residents shop in Canada. The only place in the town that insists on US Dollars is, of course, their Post Office. We talked to one local who had been there for 18 years. He loved the place. They have no police and monitor themselves. They rely little on others and most appear to have a strong dislike for a big government. The guy we talked to was wearing a “Don’t Tread on Me” cap. I’m guessing many residents lean towards Libertarian. A very interesting little place. I loved it!

Along the way into Hyder we saw our first close up glacier!

Salmon Glacier

Salmon Glacier

We were too early in the season to see bears fishing for salmon but our day was very exciting because we saw at least seven black bears just minding their own business! They were just right along the roadway, munching on raspberry bushes. They, the bears not the raspberries, were just beautiful and looked so plump and soft. I expected they would be more scrawny and shedding.

A beautiful black bear munching on branches.

A beautiful black bear munching on branches.

The Cassiar Highway is absolutely lovely…and absolutely remote. Several times we drove a hundred miles without seeing another car. So when we reached Dease Lake and found the gas station closed we decided to stop for the night and stay in the lodge there.

Today we listened to Hatchet. It’s the story about a twelve year old boy who survives a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness. Everything from the chilly damp weather to the swarms of mosquitoes were more real as we could experience it along with the lad. This is a tween’s book that Rebecca and Bob loved and was made into a movie which you’ll like too.

This picture might make my 'Road Less Traveled' series.  No cars. No road markings. Just us...and the rain.

This picture might make my ‘Road Less Traveled’ series. No cars. No road markings. Just us…and the rain.

Fraser Lake to Dease Lake, with a short detour into Alaska.

Fraser Lake to Dease Lake, with a short detour into Alaska.

Next: Into the Yukon and Sam McGee

2 thoughts on “We’re in Alaska…Already? Check Your Map!

  1. Just wait till you get to Kluanie lake. And yes the spelling is wrong but it’s past Hines junction before Destruction bay..it is spectacular and i hope you have time to stop and savor the beauty.

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