Wednesday, July 15, 2009

BACK TO CIVILIZATION

The plane that landed on the gravel airstrip right beside where we were having lunch


Fireweed at Meziadin Junction



Mountains on the way in to Stewart, BC

A little waterfall beyond Hyder, AK

Glacier beside the highway

Bear Glacier

Close up of the toe of Bear Glacier............................................................................

And some of us aren’t too thrilled getting back to the hustle and bustle and crowds and traffic behind etc.! It’s so easy to fall into the peace of the north country even with the nasty bugs. However, the long cold winters would be something else all together. We spent two nights at Meziadin Lake Park. Our site was right at the lakeshore and it is a very pretty lake. Interestingly, when we first arrived, I got chatting with the guy two sites over who happened to be from Duncan (for those not family, that’s where I was born as was my father and my father’s mother). Anyway, the long and the short of it is that his wife lived on the farm next to us back in the late 50’s and she played with my siblings. She is in even in group pictures of my siblings and neighbour kids I took in 1959 with my first camera. I hadn’t seen her since 1961. For those in the know, I’m speaking of Terry Middlemiss. We had several great visits with her and her husband Terry. Terry and Terry have done the same as us and rented their house out and hit the road for a year at least.

We also had several great visits with a couple from Montana, Susan and Hal who were parked next to us at Dease and again at Meziadin. We also met them at a lunch stop beside Bob Quinn airstrip and were all amazed when the plane landed beside us. Meeting so many friendly people has been one of the real highlights of our travels.

Yesterday was spent in traveling into Stewart and Hyder. Hyder, Alaska was a real disappointment. It just seemed like a grubby little town that didn’t know what it should be doing. I just couldn’t work up the ambition to take pictures in either town. We drove a ways beyond Hyder but it was dusty and overcast and I didn’t think we’d get any glacier shots. We saw one black bear just north of Meziadin on our way from Boya and that was it for the whole of Highway 37 which people had told me was a hotspot for wildlife of several types. We only traveled about 140 kms yesterday but with all the photo stops we were gone from 9-5! The lighting was very good and the mountains are great with their many glaciers and snow fields.

We left Meziadin Lake this morning and drove to Smithers where we are in the beautiful little city park and campground alongside the Bulkley River. Aileen managed a nap while I went in search of a truck oil change. We decided to go out for supper but it turned out to be not the best plan. The restaurant we went to had good food when we finally got it but we waited over an hour. We did get free dessert out of them (not that we needed it!) and later Aileen and I talked to different people who told us they are notorious for that. Why can’t we talk to those people before we decide where to go? After supper we did some grocery shopping. It’s taking a bit of getting used to having dark nights again.

5 comments:

  1. I don't guess either of you remember my description of Hyder from the band trip to Stewart, it being overshadowed by the fuss that followed. It is a nasty place, Mom is right just bad energy. It seems its primary existence is to allow one to get "Hyderized".

    "One of the purposes in actually crossing the border and entering Hyder, was to go to a little saloon called the Glacier Inn and get Hyderized. And I'm calling it a saloon, because it isn't a bar, it isn't a pub, and it most definitely isn't a night club. About the only thing I didn't see in this place, was spitoons parked near all the seating places. It was a quaint little place. Our bartender (see picture 1 below), a lady by the name of Jody Bunn (who also owns the place w/her husband), served up the one ounce of 150 proof everclear (or moonshine if you'd prefer to use that word) that is drunk in the ritual known as Hyderizing. One drinks the clear grain alcohol, and if one doesn't proceed to puke all over the bar immediately afterwards, one has then become Hyderized. The excess amount from the glass that you didn't manage to get down (in my case, only a few drops, really), is dumped on the bar and lit with a match. You get a little card with the date on it, your name, and the signature of the person performing the ritual, and voila, you are now Hyderized for life. If however you fail the test, and proceed to throw up all over the bar, you must then buy a round of drinks for the house. If I'd have failed at the time, that would have amounted to 3 people other than myself, and not including Mrs. Jody Bunn.

    The next most interesting thing about this establishment is the money adorning the walls. There is approximately $50,000 (US) worth of various world currencies stapled to the wall in this place. People sign a bill and it gets displayed, along with thousands of others. There are even a couple of pairs of thong sandals from Australia on the walls. (See pictures 2 & 3 in the next bunch.) The fourth picture, is of a 25 cent Canadian bill. These bills are known as "Shin Plasters," and were originally made for the fur traders. Gold apparenly was a little too heavy to be lugging around the tundra with, so the Canadian Government way back when we were still known as the Dominion of Canada made a bill. They were then called "Shin Plasters" because the fur traders would stuff them in their boots to help keep them warm. (And that is a little piece of information I learned, ages ago now, from Ralph, one of my ex-bosses, who is an avid coin/money collector." (From SuperBitch!N North to Alaska)

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  2. Yes, I too remember a trip there as a kid for my dad and Jim to get "hyderized". I believe Dennis has also been hyderized however, I have not yet. Someday I will make the trip up that side of the country.

    I thought I recognized that airstrip. I parked a car at the Bob Quinn airstip in September 2006 and hopped into a helicopter to fly down the river a few miles to a mining camp called Bronson on the Iskut River. Hopefully we'll get to finish the project we started still if the company can raise up some cash...
    Mike and Shaunee

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  3. You drove by the old Westmin Premier Gold mine where I worked with Uncle Alf back in 1989. Beautiful photos - thanks for the stories too.
    Keith

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  4. Keith and HeatherJuly 18, 2009 at 12:09 PM

    I hope you don't mind but your photos make wonderful desktop wallpapers. I've seen Mt. Robson, the Dempster, and an old barn board all in the last hour. Heather and I really enjoying seeing the world through all of your eyes (and camera lens).
    Happy and safe travels - hope to see you on the Island.
    Keith and Heather

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  5. What Keith is alluding to is that you can right click on my pictures and "borrow" them. Do remember that I hold copywrite on them and they can't be used for commercial purposes without my written permission.
    John

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