Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Hazeltons, BC to Hyder, AK: August 27, 2017

'Ksan Historical Village, Hazelton, British Columbia
We had a bit of a drive to get from Burns Lake to Stewart but we still made time to stop at several First Nation Totem sites around The Hazeltons. 'Ksan is a reconstructed Gitxsan Village/museum at Hazelton. The Gitxsan people number about 10,000 around the world today. Approximately 3,500 Gitxsan people live in the Hazelton area.



Some of the totem poles at other sites around Hazelton are the oldest in Canada. It's pretty much impossible to capture the entire pole so I took photos of the beautiful detail in the totems. These totem poles are made from cedar and proclaim the owner's clan status and inherited family traditions. Clan crests portray mythical creatures, sometimes in human form, from the legendary history of the clan.




Near these totems is a small church, St. Paul's Church (Angelican/Episcopal), with an interesting bell tower that we also spent some time photographing.


Once on Highway 37 north (Cassiar Highway) we saw a bear wandering along the roadside. He did on the road what bears are supposed to do in the woods, and then he left.


Seeing a bear was a convenient segue to our next stop at Bear Glacier. Bear Glacier has receded quite far from the road. At one time, the road was higher because the glacier covered what is now the roadway.


We stayed two nights in Stewart, British Columbia. Stewart is just 3 miles or so from the US/Canada border and the town of Hyder. We crossed into Hyder, US (no border formalities) to visit the Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site maintained by the US Forest Service and USDA. The salmon were running and the creek was filled with Chum and Pink Salmon trying to swim upstream to spawn and die. On the way back there were Canadian border formalities between Hyder and Stewart.

On our first visit, we saw lots of salmon but only a couple of black bears briefly emerged from the bushes. We bought a 3-day pass so we'll be back. The town of Hyder doesn't have much going on. It does have a post office, but most of the other buildings appear vacant. Leaving Hyder, there is the sign that proclaims it was "The Friendliest Ghost Town in Alaska."


Just caught seafood dinners in Stewart, British Columbia

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