Friday, September 21, 2012

The Return.....

We woke up the next morning to this wonderful campsite right beside the river we had just travelled over 650km from Whitehorse to Dawson City. Knowing that we all had to move on to our next stage in life, we packed up and began to head south. 

Allie and Jeff were pooped from our expedition on the river and snuggled up for a little nap in Kumu on our way from Dawson back to Whitehorse.

However they woke up in time for a fantastic sunset on the route.

Having left Allie and Jeff in Whitehorse after doing a bit of maintenance on both Kumu and Tardis, we arrived in Watson Lake just shy of the first time the two of us had been there on the beginning of our epic trip from Inuvik to Ushuaia. Again, Shona seemed to find the sign bearing her namesake....Look familiar?????.... Actually it was her mission before we headed south on the Stewart-Cassiar Highway once again.

Along the way we decided to hunt out an offroad camping spot. To get there we had to travel quite a ways down this "road" but it was well worth it. It turned out really sweet, right by the river and super quiet with absolutely nobody around.

As it turns out, having nobody around has both its pros and cons. The pros being solitude, the pristine nature and a nice quiet spot. The cons? Grizzly Bears. I had woken up early and decided to get a little fishing in on the river, just down from our campsite. I had gotten up before the Laws and headed down stream to try my luck. I had been there about a half an hour before the grizzly bear crossed the path of the campsite before heading downstream directly towards me. They had no idea I was down there when the bear rushed by. I heard a rustling in the bushes and next thing I saw was a grizzly bear dashing in my direction. Luckily I had both a bear spray and a bear banger on me, nevermind that the bear took a short detour into the bushes, giving me time to load the bear banger gun. Quickly it came back at me and I had just enough time to shoot it off to send it in the other direction (it was only 10 metres from me and coming quite fast!!!!)  Needless to say it was quite the adrenaline rush... Here is a photo of its paw print next to my shoe print.

After a day or two of driving, and taking the advice of Dante and Kahung, we decided as a group to head up to the Salmon Glacier to check it out from the dirt road that passes above it. Now to do this, its not the easiest of tasks to do this roundtrip without a passport legally. First, one must pass from Stewart BC, into Hyder AK, and from there back into BC along the very much gravel, one lane road that leads up to the glacier.The thing with this is that there is no border patrol going from Canada to the USA into Hyder, nor is there any border patrol on the other side of Hyder whatsoever. So needless to say getting to the glacier was a non issue. And we made it. 

Our arrival at the glacier.

Quite an amazing view to see from above. 

It was so beautiful in fact, that we decided to spend the night up there overlooking the galcier. 

The night on top of the mountain was grand and we all got a great nights sleep in the fresh air of the Coastal Mountain Range above the glacier. The next morning we woke up and felt ready for a little adventure. We hiked up the mountain adjacent to the glacier and for the first time Dante got to experience hiking a mountain through the snow. We had a great time and really enjoyed the route. This photo is once we made it back down safe and sound.

Shona scoped out a "love" rock.

From here it was time to try and head back to the Stewart-Cassiar through Hyder and back to Stewart. Enroute we happened upon a great fishing hole and decided it was time to give it one last shot to try and catch something to eat. This was something Mel and Dante had on their bucket list and we felt it was a must try being in a spot where the salmon in the river were oh so plentiful. I am happy to say after about 4 hours of trying we finally bagged a pink salmon and had a sweet fish fry in store for that night. Now the only thing left for us was to get back from Hyder into Stewart...... The thing that made this a challenge for us was that neither Shona or myself had a passport with us. Now I must say that we knew this going into Hyder, but thought that we would just chance it, in order to see the renowned Salmon Glacier. We approached the border, and after what seemed like an hour the border guard reluctantly let us back into Canada. 
It was here that we said our goodbyes with Dante, Mel and Kahung before they headed for Vancouver and us back to Canmore. - They are a great clan to travel with and plans are already in the works for next summer.... 
As we travelled south back onto the Yellowhead Highway, we passed through this little place---- YOU try and pronounce the name... but it did have good fishing.

Finally I found my mecca. A little spot outside of Houston BC where I was catching boatloads of Pinks from this very spot. We actually stayed here for 2 days and just couldn't get enough of the fishing....

Here's one of the many many many pinks that I was able to reel in here. I really need to do more fishing in BC!

So after pulling in such a stock, it was important to b-line it back to AB to share the feed with everyone. We did the remainder of the trip in the next two days and were able to have quite the fish fry with some of our closest friends. 
Sadly, this brought an end to our summer adventure. It has been an epic tour once again but alas, it is time to head back to "reality" for the time being. Shona has now returned back to school and I back to coaching once again. This however, has not ended our adventures. We will still make time to go out and explore all there is to be seen in the world, albeit it may just be in shorter stints for the next little bit. Stay tuned for the next installment........

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