Oh, Oh, where did the sun go. We were so excited when we saw the sign for Stewart, BC. We made the turn onto the Cassiar Highway and poof just like that, no sun, dark skies and what looked like a major dust storm on the horizon.
I think the dust storm was Nature’s way of telling us to stop. And the fact that we had to slow down our speed resulted in us seeing the little sign “Totem Poles”. So we pulled off the highway into the Native village of Gitwangak -or People of the Place of Rabbits. The cultural center was closed but the Totems were amazing. They were all erected between 1840-1942 and represent the oldest totems found in their original village context in all of British Columbia.
As we left the village and pulled back out onto the Cassiar Highway-look who appeared to say good bye ! I love spotting the bears and never lose the least bit of wonderment
As we left the village and pulled back out onto the Cassiar Highway-look who appeared to say good bye ! I love spotting the bears and never lose the least bit of wonderment.
We were still under threat of a storm when we left the totems behind. We had a few showers and then the storm was gone. With no threat of thunder or lightening we stopped to smell the flowers along the way.
Good timing on our part, the lupines were in full bloom along with wild strawberries and bluebells.
Our destination for the evening was Stewart, we just wanted to check it out and it wasn’t that far out of our way. We already knew the salmon weren’t in yet in Hyder so no salmon no bears, but we wanted to see what was available if we decided to stop at the end of our trip when returning home.
Driving into Stewart gave us a chance to see Bear Glacier. It began to retreat in 1940 and has continued it’s drastic melting. It is still a beautiful area, and right off the highway.
We found another fabulous BC Recreation site, Clements Lake. When we arrived some kayakers were just packing up. They warned us about the bears, left us their unused firewood and most importantly left this little piece of heaven to us-no one else. It was like our own private resort. We cooked hot dogs over the fire, listened for bear, enjoyed the call of the loons and turned in for the evening.
The next morning we were treated to a challenge between a bald eagle and a momma Merganser with her 8 babies. The eagle would swoop down on the lake, trying to grab the babies and momma duck would splash and honk like crazy driving the eagle away. We watched this for two hours, the eagle unsuccessful as we left the camp site. I hope momma continued to win the battle and I pray she got her babies to a safe spot.
As we left Stewart, BC (after an uneventful lunch at the King Edward hotel) we didn’t know where our next evening destination was. We eventually were working our way north to a little detour off of the Cassiar to a place called Telegraph Creek.
As the day progressed on , with a few bear sightings, we decided it was time to look for camp. We spotted a pullout a little bit up the road that looked promising. It was beautiful Bonus Lake, like having our own private lake, only 3 sites and all unoccupied.
As we jumped out of Ruby , we discovered that Bonus Lake was mosquito heaven, not a place we wanted to spend the night so we continued on our way. Our next idea was to stay at Kinaskin Lake, but again it was too busy with people and boaters, so we continued up the highway.
Somewhere, halfway between Kinaskin Lake and Tatogga Lake Resort we pulled into a trash bin pullout off the highway. You won’t believe this, but it was an incredible view over the mountains and valley. We already knew from driving that there was very little traffic on the Cassiar so we wouldn’t be bothered by any traffic noise.
We pulled in and watched the storm, rainbow included, move across the valley. Once the storm cleared we watched the sun slowly roll the same direction.
It really was one of the prettiest spots we had stopped at. We slept soundly, no traffic, just as we had suspected.
We arrived at Dease Lake, expecting a fairly large resort area-big surprise, a gas station and grocery store-which is pretty much what you find all along the Cassiar. So if you take this route, always top off when you see a fuel station and make sure you have enough fresh water and food to get you to the end of the Cassiar. There isn’t much out here which is exactly why we decided to take this route to Alaska. And truth be told, we would be more than happy to return this way !
We fueled up and pointed towards our destination-Telegraph Creek. And that will be the subject of my next blog. All I can say is Telegraph Creek was the biggest surprise so far on our journey. I expected something unusual but I never imagined what we encountered. Stay tuned for our adventure.
Happy trails, safe travels and always take the road less traveled my friends.