Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Alaska RV Tour - Hyder, Alaska

We arrived in Hyder on 27th June and left on June 29th after staying at Camp Run-a-Muck RV park. I think this is the only RV park in Hyder, and it is managed by Suzi who is the wife of the town's Postmaster.  To give you an idea of what Hyder is like, consider these two slogans about the town:

Hyder Alaska: The Friendliest Ghost town in Alaska
Hyder Alaska: A town of about 100 happy people and a few old s___heads

Lynda and I both really liked it here. There's not much in Hyder but a few dirt side streets off a main dirt street, a couple hotels, a couple bars, a couple restaurants, an RV park... well, you get the idea.

When we rolled into Hyder on Sunday, we got settled and then walked down to the "Bus" restaurant.  Yep, the kitchen is in an old school bus.  It was cold and rainy and so we were relieved to learn there is an indoor eating area in an adjacent building. I ordered Alaska King Crab legs and Lynda ordered the Captain's Platter and then we went inside and sat down. Our beers were delivered about 5 minutes later and our food arrived an hour or so later.  That be slooow cookin' in the old bus.

But we really did not mind the wait. A man joined us at our table and regaled us with tales of his motorcycle travels through the Yukon and Alaska.  We had been noticing many, many motorcycles on the roads in British Columbia and on our way to Hyder.  Most of these bikes were loaded down with camping gear and all kinds of supplies.

Anyway, it was this guy who told us about the ferry that takes vehicles from Dawson City, Yukon Territory over to the Taylor Highway so you can head to Whitehorse without backtracking. According to him, this ferry gently crash-lands on the opposite shore and then they lay down planks over the mud and gravel so you can drive off.  Hmm... we're going to Dawson City so we'll find out if he was pulling our leg or not. But based on what I've seen so far, I suspect he was telling the truth.

By the way, it seems that Bears have right of way in Hyder. Unfortunately, we did not see this ourselves because we slept in a bit on Monday morning, but several in our group photographed a large black bear sitting on the porch of the Grandview Inn across the street from the campground. He was just hanging out (and the people were hanging in).

The next day, Monday, Roger loaded up the van and drove us through the Tongass National Forest up to Salmon Glacier.  On the way we saw a Black bear on road - he barely looked at us.  We also drove past some current and old mining operations. 

Salmon Glacier is beautiful!  We met Keith "Bear Man" Scott while we were there and learned about the multi-colored Rainbow Bear.  Click here to see more photos of Salmon Glacier.

On the way back to Hyder, we stopped at the Bear viewing stands that the National Forest Service set up to overlook Fish Creek. Unfortunately, the Salmon are not running yet and so there wasn't any feeding action to see.

About the same time we returned to Camp Run-A-Muck, Bob and Patsy and Weston rolled in with their now operable but wounded Fleetwood coach. Sure enough, the coach was hauled on a flat bed truck to a repair facility and when they rolled it off the truck, part of the front got caught and was torn off. Yikes!  Anyway, Bob did not seem too stressed - they were just glad to rejoin the group.

Monday evening, our group gathered at the Sealaska Inn for a baked Halibut dinner.  Meanwhile, Lynda and I had heard about the tradition of getting Hyderized and decided this was something we would do and we talked a couple friends from the group into it also.  Peer pressure knows no age.  Being Hyderized involves swallowing a generous shot of 150-proof Everclear. If you can keep it down for a reasonable amount of time, you're issued a certificate attesting to the fact that you have been successfully Hyderized.  Along with Neil Brown and John Kurz, we are now certified. Isn't that great?

After our Halibut dinner, which was very good, we went next door for some hand-dipped ice cream - yum! 

Click here for more photos of Hyder, Alaska. 

Next major stop is Skagway - stay tuned!

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