18 Aug 2015--After the bears and whales we hated to have to do it, but we left Haines, AK on the 14th of August and took 3 full days to drive here to Stewart/Hyder, our last Alaska stop before heading to the lower 48. The last 2 days of the drive we were going through Yukon and British Columbia, which like Alaska are not heavily-populated places. haha But they are picture-postcard beautiful, so it is a joy to pass through.
We passed though one very small town that had a sign posted saying "Watch for the Horse"...we sort of laughed about it until lo and behold there was the horse!!! This guy actually made us slow down to a crawl as he kept walking towards us like we were going to feed him. He initially came up to the driver's side window , and as Cathy inched along I went to the side window to get another picture. He turned to me and forced me to close the window or he would have stuck his head completely inside. haha
Cruising along at about 50 MPH, enjoying the scenery, I was using our phone to take pictures when Cathy suddenly yelled "bear, bear, bear"! Of course I have no idea where this bear might be, so I am frantically scanning the road and trees ahead and to my right, when I finally turn to the driver's side and out of the corner of my eye I see a bear.
With no time to do anything but react, I swing the phone around and just press the button randomly, having no idea and having less expectation that I actually caught the picture of the bear. BUT, check this out...blow up this picture and look at the top left, between what is 2 parts of my windshield wiper...there you can see a young black bear watching us as we fly by!!! How cool is that?! haha
That was our 2nd bear of the day, but we didn't get the 1st one at all. So we just continued on to our destination. The Stewart/Hyder area is off the main highway, at the end of a 39 mile stretch of land that has over 20 glaciers and 72 snow avalanche paths.
And here we are at our RV park...another nice spot to put down stakes for few days as we hunt for more bears. haha This bear picture was in the park's office...wouldn't you die laughing if you came upon a grizzly like that? haha
We were recently told an interesting story about the life cycle of my favorite flower up here, the fireweed. You can predict the coming season by the flowering of this all-pervasive plant. It grows throughout British Columbia, Yukon and Alaska, and at the beginning of the summer the pink flowers start at the bottom of the plant. As the summer goes along more and more flowers emerge up the stem of the flower, until finally near the end of summer all that is left is a little flowering at the top. By the end of summer all that is left is this cotton-y looking substance, and once that starts showing up you have about 6 weeks to full-on winter. As we drove, the closer we got to Steward/Haines, the more cotton-y stuff we saw, so....!
Almost time to get back to the lower 48. We leave here on Thursday, so we have 3 full days to find some bears...what this area is famous for!