Ride Report: Day 5: Smithers, BC to Stewart, BC and Hyder, AK
I checked out of the Hudson Bay Lodge, loaded up the bike and headed northwest. The goal was to reach Hyder, Alaska. My GPS said I would arrive at 10:24 AM, which was great. I could stop, have lunch, sight-see a little bit, then head back to Smithers for the night. As I rode, 10:24 am came and went, yet I still had 100 km to go. I thought my Zumo 220 was out of its mind. When I finally reached Stewart, BC and crossed the border into Hyder, I noticed the clock on my bike said it was 11:24 am. Then it dawned on me that my GPS tells me the arrival time based on the time zone of my destination. Hyder is in the Alaska time zone while Stewart was in the Pacific time zone.
Just before I got to Stewart, I stopped in front of the glacier for a few photos, then crossed a narrow one-lane bridge that was erected after the original bridge got washed out by a flood more than a year prior.
In Hyder, I rode up the forest service road 88 to the Fish Creek wildlife viewing area. You can walk on elevated wooden walkways and see bears fishing in the creek below it. All I saw was the creek; no bears were present. Back in Hyder I stopped at the general store to buy a souvenir for my wife. The owner, a big guy with a head and beard full of white hair, asked me where I was from. When I told him I was from Sandy, Oregon, he smiled and said he was from Beaverton, Oregon, about 40 miles to the west of Sandy.
We chatted for a bit, then I headed over to the Glacier Inn for some lunch. This is a very charismatic place, where you can get “Hyderized” — drink a local form of moonshine. I never drink and ride, so I left with a full belly but no booze in me. Getting back into Canada and the tiny border crossing, a young gal named Cyr (pronounced ‘seer’) asked me several questions, then let me through. There is no questioning when going from Stewart into Hyder.
On my way back to Smithers I saw a cinnamon bear peaking above the brush on the side of the road. I made it back to Smithers under light rain and checked back into the Hudson Bay Lodge for the third night in a row.
Published by Steve Williamson