Monday, September 05, 2011

Hyder, Alaska

Hyder, Alaska, sits at the end of nowhere. From the British Columbia town of Stewart, it is a spur off the main road, a 10 mile-ish trip into the United States that goes so far into Nowhere that the U.S. doesn't even bother having a customs station. It is called the "Friendliest Ghost Town in Alaska," and it has only two sources of income: tourism and a water bottling facility.

Hyder is known for its salmon-fishing bear, which is the main reason tourists come here. The bear are so numerous during the salmon runs that the Fish And Wildlife have built a wooden walkway just for the homo sapiens to safely watch them.

We got here in early September, at the end of the Silver's run, in a gentle rain that was a nuisance for the homo sap saps, but unnoticed by the ursines. We saw some salmon spawning in a last ditch effort to perpetuate the species -- but they were few, the season being almost over. Some bears were still taking advantage of the Meals on Fins-- we saw a black bear sow and her yearling grabbing a few of the remaining Silvers and Chum as they tried to make their way upstream to their breeding ground:

The river was clear and swift. Behind the river was a beautiful pond, the rainy mist settling on the water in a gentle fog:
After bear viewing, we drove up the road a ways where numerous waterfalls were evidence of still-melting glaciers. The road eventually reached the Canadian border, where we turned around.
For dinner, we went to The Bus. The Bus came to Alaska 13 years ago as living quarters for a wanderer. The current owners traded a snowmobile for the bus, and then turned it into a hippiesque diner where dinner is the day's catch, and the following Bus Rules apply:
  1. No Worry
  2. No Hurry
  3. Relax
  4. Enjoy
We got an order of crab and an order of sauteed shrimp: both were amazingly excellent, especially with a glass (or two) or Merlot.
The Bus's other claim to fame is the movie "Insomnia" which was filmed here. Our table had a remnant from that historic moment: Robin William's autograph!
Hyder may be small, but it is an authentic small town in Alaska. I don't think I could live here, but it sure is fun visiting!

1 comment:

Gypsy Boho said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing.