Memory Lane

Trip Start Jun 01, 2009
Trip End Jun 31, 2009

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Thursday, July 1, 2010

It was chilly on the Canada Day morning at the rest stop. The two large RV's beside us had left without a sound (or we were sound asleep). The trout and bannock provided a wonderful breakfast. There was a plaque nearby observing the death of two avalanche specialists who died on the side of the mountains across the road.

The dilapidated gas station at Meziadin Junction was closed and for sale. Since it was the only building there, it is safe to say that the population is now zero.

From Meziadin Junction, we took the road west to Stewart, a road we had taken 28 years ago when we first met. We passed the Bear Glacier which now doesn't reach the lake. The last time we saw it, it was many metres high at the lake and large chunks of ice were calving off it and floating across to waiting campers. It was a sad indicator of our warming planet.

We joined in at the Canada Day celebrations in Stewart by eating a bit of leftover cake provided by the townsfolk. There was a parade, face painting, and a craft fare as the town celebrated.

From Stewart you can drive, through to Hyder, a tiny town at the southern end of the American Panhandle. There is no border guard here. If you really want to smuggle something into the United States, this is not a logical way to do it anyway because everything comes into Hyder from Stewart anyway.

At the Glacier Hotel in Hyder, you can get Hyderized. With a little ceremony, and four dollars, you are obliged to gulp down 2 ounces of Everclear (100 proof alcohol) mixed with whiskey. A certificate is given (if desired) and you can boast of the event to your friends. I was hyderized with lunch, a hamburger, which I thought was suitable since; after all, we were in the USA.

There is a border guard at the crossing to get back into Canada. I spoke to the guard there about it and told her of our experiences 28 years earlier when it was a shack by the side of the road and there was a sign on the broken window saying that the guard was in the hospital as a result of a mountain climbing accident and would return the following week. She told us that the border now had problems with tourists who cross over to Hyder and don't have the proper documentation to return. Fortunately we had our passports and passed through. We justified our undeclared alcohol purchase to ourselves as a boost to the local Hyder economy.

We returned to Meziadin Junction (the only way out of the area) and drove by a wonderful campground there. It was too early to stop so we continued on to Kitwanga and stopped in a native-run RV site. Almost everything in Kitwanga is native-run. We followed a path they had installed around the lumber mill and passed a park and a residential area. After a welcome shower, we called it a night.
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darkstar on

Bravo Richard, this one's your best yet in my opinion.

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