Wednesday, September 23, 2015

On Blogging

Recently, it seems to me, there are a lot of bloggers that have either suspended their blogs or stopped blogging altogether. It's possible that my impression is due to the selection of blogs that I look in on, which are mostly the blogs of RVers and travelers. But then again… perhaps not.

Blogging went mainstream in the mid 2000s. When I started, in 2006, there were a good number of RV travelers that already had blogs. It was something new, something fresh, and the bubble of people getting into the RVing life in those years were quick to respond. In our first years on the road, (2007 – 2008-ish) the vibe was that every RVer needed a blog. In fact, there were seminars at rallies that expressed that very sentiment. Blogging rapidly became a fad, something expected, something assumed. But, like all fads and meteors, expect it to brighten and fade.

Since many bloggers were/are in it for the social networking aspect, it seems a natural evolution for blogs to migrate to tools designed for this purpose. I'm referring to today's more convenient and less time consuming options for keeping in touch with your “peeps”... Facebook, Twitter, etc., which now seem to be the locus of the “look at what I did today” bunch.

It's also possible that I'm looking at a generational phenomenon here. We've all seen a pickup in the number of younger working-age folks who have become RVers and are able to earn a living while they travel. Groups like RVillage and Xscapers are the new generation of travelers with their own methods of keeping in touch, while my circle of reference is a collection of old fuddy-duddy blogs.

In any case, it's not a surprise that the blogs of RVers are fading away. Sure, there will always be a hardcore few, but the bubble will deflate, and the world will continue to turn.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Un-Mothballing

Pretty darned pleased with
her new wheels.
Tuesday, Sept 15
We're up in the Seattle area at this writing for a couple weeks soaking up family time with our son, daughter-in-law, and our little grand-daughter. They have a gap in child daycare arrangements and we're excited by the opportunity to spend time with them all, and to really get to know the delightful little sprout.

Sandwiched between our Alaska/Yukon trip and this Seattle gig, we had about a week and a half back at our home-base in Oregon. I anticipated needing to wash the motorhome and car in addition to the truck and camper upon our return, but the elements were kind to the mothballed machinery and we only focused on the truck and camper for now. Camper was detached from the truck and both were scrubbed down. I'm a fan of waterless carwash products, but this job necessitated an old fashioned soap and water and lots of suds washing that would have made my Dad proud. The waterless cleaner was step two. The resulting squeaky clean duo were then re-assembled and made ready for our next outing, sometime in October, weather permitting.

Most of the first couple days back at the bushouse kept us busy getting it ready to live in again. Some may not know what's involved with properly preparing an RV for long term storage, but it's an involved list. Upon your return, the whole process must be reversed. With a motorhome, we feel it's important to fire it up and take it for a drive, something we do on a regular basis anyway. Motorhomes need to be driven. Nothing good happens to one that sits. And simply starting the engine and running it for a few minutes doesn't count. At a minimum, we take it for a 30 or 40 mile drive... which hopefully involves running the engine hard at times... 100%. With all the hills in this part of the country, it isn't tough to find places to really get the engine warm. That was the last thing we did when we parked it when we left in the Spring, and the first thing we did when we got back. Now that we're largely convinced of the benefits of small-rig travel we're talking about getting a fifth-wheel to park on our lot semi-permanently, and will sell the motorhome. Things change, life evolves, possibilities expand, and the world turns.

I haven't yet completed a recap of our trip to Alaska and the Yukon, as well as some thoughts and observations about the trip... but will have it up on the blog in the next couple weeks or so.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Travelogue August 23 thru August 29

This week began with us finishing up the Cassiar Hwy. and then working southward through British Columbia on our way back to Washington. It also marks the end of our great adventure to the far north. This is the last travelogue post for the trip.


Sunday, August 23 - Meziadin Lake CG to Smithers (day 78)
Meziadin Lake Provincial CG

Campsite at Meziadin Lake
Hey, sunshine this morning. Nice to see. Perused campsite when I got out of camper and saw no additional evidence of the bear that the campground host said had wandered around our campsite before we got here yesterday. We kept looking for him/her as we prepared to leave, but nothing.  Probably found a better berry patch further up the hill.

Just a short drive south to Kitwanga at the southern terminus of the Cassiar where we spent a little time checking out the historic church and totem poles referred to in the Milepost guide. A local native walked over and gave us a more detailed history and a little of the story depicted on the poles.

Hwy 16 runs from Prince Rupert on the coast to Prince George and then eastward from there. It’s a modern highway with painted lines, useable shoulders, and a good pavement… things we haven’t had an abundance of lately. But apparently good roads bring more traffic and we were beginning to feel the end of our trip to the far north. Much more traffic and crazy hustle-bustle… something else we haven’t had much of in the past couple months.

We stopped and watched native Indians net fishing near Moricetown.

We got as far as Smithers where we decided to stop for a beer and some local flavor at the Alpenhorn Bistro, Bar and Grill. We found a couple seats at the bar and fell in with a lively bartender and a few friendly locals. Needless to say we had a blast. One of them, a fellow named Stanley, offered to sponsor us if we decided to move to Smithers and become Canadians. If by some unexplained cosmic flash of stupidity makes Trump the next President, we will most assuredly take him up on his offer.

Our new friends at the Alpenhorn all decided that we needed to camp tonight at the Smithers City Park and Campground… which we did. Right on the banks of the Bulkley River, it was a convenient solution to our immediate housing need.




Monday, August 24 - Smithers to Fraser Lake (day 79)
Smithers City Park CG

More agriculture going on around here.
Had a good night at Smithers City Park CG. I mean, how can you go wrong? Right along the banks of the Bulkley River, full-hookup site for $24 Canadian, free WIFI that actually worked, and free hot (hot!!) showers to boot. Slept like an old man… a clean old man.

After our normal morning routine, the wheels were turning and the truck was heading southeast. Oh... but wait, we had to stop for a few items at the local Safeway. Then we were back on busy Hwy 16. Dar had scoped out another provincial park near Fraser Lake and that was our goal.

We’re on the Interior Plateau up here and a sign of that is a lot more agricultural activity. It looked and felt like Wisconsin most of the time. Found a good roadside park on the eastern end of Burns Lake for a picnic lunch.

Before long, after just 150 miles, we pulled into Beaumont Provincial Park and found a site for the night. The park is on the grounds once occupied by historic Fort Fraser, built about 1806. It was an outpost of the old Northwest Company until absorbed by the Hudson Bay Company about 1824. There is a substantial old log barn on the site which post dated the old Fort by quite a few years.

It’s really starting to get dark at night. The calendar is inching toward equinox and we’re further south every day. Dar commented that she’s having a little trouble sleeping now that it actually gets dark at night. I don’t seem to suffer from that particular affliction.


Tuesday, August 25 - Fraser Lake to Lac le Hache (day 80)
Beaumont Provincial Park CG

Another mostly sunny morning. Back on the road about 9:30am. Easterly, mostly, to Prince George where we bend mostly southward on Hwy 97. Stopped at visitor center in Quesnel (french pronunciation… no “s” sound) to make a phone call and check email. Continued through the “lake district” to Lac le Hache (french for lake of the hatchet) where we made camp at the eponymous provincial campground.

Inviting display of flowers at Quesnel Visitor Center.
It’s not uncommon to run into people you’ve seen in previous days or weeks as one travels through the far north. And tonight we ran into a solo traveler and fellow truck-camper we knew from our stay in Smithers. David lives on Vancouver Island and is slowly meandering back home. We shared happy hour and a campfire before retiring for the evening.


Wednesday, August 26 - Lac le Hache to Emory Creek CG (Yale, BC) (day 81)
Lac le Hache CG

Mostly sunny drive today with an increasing amount of smoky haze from wildfires east of here. We’re dropping almost due south through an area with a concentration of large log home and building manufacturers. Identified by the big cranes needed to lift the logs into place, each home is completely put together here, then disassembled and transported to it’s ultimate location where it’s all put back together once again… hopefully for the final time. It’s an expensive proposition, but these log buildings look marvelous.


The highlight of the drive today was a side-trip over a historic route used by early settlers and gold-rushers coming north. They’d follow the Fraser River canyon to Lillooet via riverboat and then transition to an overland route further north to towns still named 70 Mile House, 100 Mile House, and 150 Mile House. Those town names refer to the distance from Lillooet.

Not more than two feet to the edge of the road.
We, of course, were taking the route southbound. We left Hwy 97 at Clinton and headed southwestward. For a few miles the road is paved but in poor condition. Near Downing Provincial Park, the road becomes dirt and quickly changes into a very steep one lane road that was more challenging than I thought it might be. With confidence that we were on the right path provided by an occasional sign, we continued through what can best be described as an “E” ticket ride of thrills and chills on a road that often was, at times, nothing more than a narrow trail dozed out of the side of a steep hillside. No guardrails and only a couple feet between our wheels and a “Thelma and Louise” 1000 foot drop to oblivion… gave the navigatress heart palpitations. Eventually we reached the top and slowly eased down the other side… through a private ranch and on a less steep trail that eventually came out at the town of Pavillion. That 90 minute ordeal was enough to feed our adventurelust and fill the exhilaration banks for a while. What a hoot!

Excuse me... is this the road to Pavillion?

Then it was down to Lillooet on Hwy 99 through our first introduction to the Fraser River Canyon… another Wow on it’s own merits. At Lillooet we transitioned to Hwy 12, also following the Fraser to Lytton. That section of road included a couple gasps on the Yikes-meter too. From beginning to end, from Clinton to Lytton can’t be more than 70 miles by crow, but the route we took had to be far more exciting than the Hwy 97 route most people take through Cache Creek.

High above Fraser River Canyon

One lane through here... and no traffic control. You're on your
own to keep an eye out for oncoming logging trucks.

At Lytton we got on Hwy 1 and drove as far as Yale, just a few miles north of Hope. We found a campground that, apparently, used to be a provincial park but is now a privately run affair. Called Emory Creek CG, it looked and felt like all the other provincial park campgrounds we’ve stayed at. Why it’s private, we never did figure out. A good place to stop for the night.

Just a tad over 200 miles for the day.


Thursday, August 27 - Emory Creek CG (Yale, BC) to Bay View SP CG (Mt. Vernon, WA) (day 82)
Emory Creek CG

Broke camp and on the road again by 9:30. The air was very smokey as we neared the Vancouver area… probably from wildfires east of here. High pressure has been holding the smoke in the valleys.

The closer to Vancouver the crazier the traffic and hub-bub became. I’m not a slow driver, preferring to drive the speed limit on roads like this if possible. But 90% of the other vehicles on the road had a need to go considerably faster than that… including loaded logging trucks, school busses, and little old gray haired women driving their canasta club to the ice cream shop for dish of soft-serve.

Broke off Hwy 1 at the Sumas cutoff. Just a few short miles to the border crossing. An informative sign said the wait was approx. 20 minutes to make the crossing. Once in line with what had to be hundreds of other vehicles, the line inched along. After 20 minutes we’d moved about two blocks, with much further to yet go to get to the quizmaster. After an hour of idling and inching we were close. I held my tongue… my comments and suggestions that may have made me feel better for a moment but surely would have resulted in fines and a prison term.

“Where are you coming from?” “Canada” (where I’m sitting at, there is no possible other place I could be coming from.)

“Do you have anything to declare that you bought while in Canada?” “No” (prices in Canada do not make it advantageous to do so.)

“Any fruits or vegetables?” “One apple”

“Any liquor?” “Two cans of beer and a little wine sloshing around the bottom of a carboard box” (again, liquor prices in Canada are amazingly high, so why would anyone do this?)

“Any firearms?” “No” (Canada is concerned about bringing firearms across… didn’t know the USA is too.)

So we got through with a minimum of pain… other than some tongue spasms from trying to keep it under control. Drove south into Washington looking for a state park for the night. First one we checked out was Larabee, which we eliminated after some considerable time because it was fairly busy, had few level campsites, and just wasn’t up to the standards of the parks we’d stayed at in Canada.

We moved on to Bay View State Park which we found much more agreeable. Found a site and made camp for the night.



Friday, August 28 - Bay View SP CG to Kirkland, WA (day 83)
Bay View SP CG

Woke. Broke camp. Drove to our Son and Daughter-In-Law’s home in the Seattle area. Time to reconnect with family and see what homebase life is like for a few months.

I’ve said it before… there’s no feeling like “coming home” after a trip… unless it’s the feeling of getting ready to go exploring again.

The end of our trip to the Far North.

Thanks for following our trip to the Far North.


Travelogue August 16 thru August 22

We began this week in Whitehorse, the Capital City of the Yukon, where we lingered for a few days. From there, back on the Alaska Highway, the Alcan, through Carcross and down to the junction with the Cassiar Highway. As we dropped south on the Cassiar, we took a side trip to Stewart/Hyder.


This old DC-3 found a new life as a wind sock.
Sunday, August 16 - Whitehorse Local (day 71)
Wolf Creek CG

The campground is max'd out this weekend. Discovered the reason why: it's a three day weekend here in the Yukon called Discovery Day. Has to do with remembering the day they found gold on Bonanza Creek, a tributary of the Klondike near Dawson City. So, like folks anywhere, they're taking advantage of a summer three day weekend... one of the last, if not the last, of the warm season this far north.

We ran into town for a much needed internet fix and a laundromat. Managed to get a bunch of photos uploaded as well as my post for last week. Another reason we're lingering here another day was to exchange some money at a bank. Our Canadian funds are getting low. However, with Monday being a Holiday, that's going to have to wait until Tuesday.

Back at camp Dar prepared a sausage and vegetable hobo dinner that I cooked on the campfire. After an hour it was cooked to perfection. A great team effort.


Monday, August 17 - Whitehorse Local (day 72)
Discovery Day Holiday in the Yukon
Wolf Creek CG

Campsite at Wolf Creek CG near Whitehorse.
On the way into town this morning we visited a few RV parks and campgrounds for future reference. Had a few more supplies to pick up and had a light lunch at Tim Hortons (including absolutely no donuts despite Dar's plea to the contrary).

I've written in the past about food prices here in Canada (they're high), but I've also had trouble finding some specific items at any price. No-stir peanut butter made without hydrogenated oil is one. Haven't been able to find it outside of the US. Wonder why it's not sold in Canada.

Just like yesterday, the day started out sunny but quickly changed to all clouds. This afternoon, on our way back to camp, a light rain began. Kinda puts a damper on my outdoor cooking plans. Been thinking we need to begin tarping our campsite when staying for more than a day or two. Would expand our living space to include a little of the outdoors as well as some dry space for outdoor cooking.


Tuesday, August 18 - Whitehorse to near Teslin (day 73)
Wolf Creek CG

Broke camp and headed for town. Got a couple more items for the supply bin, stopped at the bank for a little plastic Canadian money, and we bid Whitehorse a fond farewell. Time to move on.

Dar wanted to run down to Carcross, a short side trip off the Alcan. She'd read about some first nation woodcarvers and really wanted to stop by to see what was being worked on these days. So we went to Carcross.

Originally known as Caribou Crossing, the name was changed... contraction-ated... to Carcross because the Canadian Postal Service often confused it with other communities with similar names. On the way into town we stopped at a sandy area known as the worlds smallest desert. It's not really a desert, just an ancient lake bottom that local weather conditions seem to keep around, but when you're mining for tourist dollars you'll try anything to keep 'em coming.

Carcross isn't much. The central attraction is the train station... it's the northern terminus of the famed White Pass and Yukon Railroad that runs between Skagway and here through some pretty rugged geography. The NPYR used to run all the way to Whitehorse and the narrow gauge tracks are still in place where they cross the Alcan just south of town. Any way you look at it, the narrow gauge railroad is kept afloat by tourism, principally tourist from the many cruise ships that stop in Skagway.

For you railroad enthusiasts out there, the YPYR track gauge is 914mm… or just a hair or two shy of 3 feet. Compare that to the standard gauge all other regular railroads us in North America of 1435mm or 4 feet 8-½ inches.

Besides the railroad station, there's the oldest general store in Alaska, a mini-mall of gift and craft shops, a restaurant, and the skeletal remains of a stern-wheeler riverboat that used to ply the waters of the area lakes. The old girl was set afire by vandals some years ago and the State of Alaska kicked in a million bucks to turn what was left into a museum of sorts.

We stopped in the restaurant, The Bistro, to have lunch, being famished from the 40 mile drive down here from Whitehorse. And, as often do in joints like this, we had a great time chatting with the staff and some of the few customers they had that day. It's late August and business has already dropped way off from the peak. I think they're kinda punch-drunk from a busy tourist season.

Keith Wolfe Smarch, famed Tlingit Carver
Right across the tracks from The Bistro, was the carving studio of Keith Wolfe Smarch... the place Dar really wanted to see. He's native Tlingit and has made a real name for himself in the carving world. His current project is a 70 foot high totem pole that will be a permanent part of the new heritage center being built on the edge of town. Made of red cedar, as are most totem poles in this part of the world, it's a massive job just to get the huge log made ready for carving... and then the year or more of detailed carving to finish the project. Very impressive indeed. He also shared with us some of his secrets and smaller masks and hats he's done recently. An enjoyable and informative stop.

About that time the train made an appearance. That's right... the narrow gauge White Pass and Yukon tourist train from Skagway. It kept me entertained as I watched it perform a turn around maneuver on the Y track maintained for that purpose. They like to keep the locomotive at the front of the train regardless which way it's going. Gives the passengers a more authentic experience and the engineer a better view of the track ahead. Would hate to bump into a bear or moose (or squirrel).

When we left, the wind was picking up briskly. It blew us all the way down the shortcut to Jakes Corners... back on the Alcan. From there we droned to Teslin Lake, and to a very nice government campground of the same name where we called it a day.

Campsite at Teslin Lake CG


Wednesday, August 19 - Teslin (on Alcan) to Cassiar Jct. near Watson Lake (day 74)
Teslin Lake CG

Cloudy this morning, with intermittent dribbles of rain. Left our lakeside campsite a little after 10am and the truck was barely warm when we stopped just a couple miles up the road at the Tlingit Heritage Center in Teslin. On the way north a couple months ago (when we were in more of a hurry) she noted in The Milepost book that she wanted to stop on the return drive. So we did. It's an excellent resource for the last 200 years of history of the Tlingit people native to this area. The noted wood carver we saw yesterday, Keith Wolfe Smarch, has many of his pieces here and used to work from Teslin up until a few years ago when he moved to Carcross.

A real mixed bag today weather-wise. Rain and a heavy low cloud deck kept mountain views limited. At higher elevations the temp dipped into the upper 40s and we even thought we could see hardened precipitation mixed in with raindrops… in another word, ice. Not sure about this as the evidence quickly dissipated.

Otherwise, it was an uneventful drive. After 150 miles or so, we were near the junction with the Cassiar and we decided to pull into “Nugget City” to consider our options for the rest of the day. Lunch in the Nugget City restaurant, Wolf It Down, can be described as meager portions for a high price. But it filled a void and gave us a place to pause. While Dar checked out the gift shop I wandered over to the RV park/campground to see what they had. We decided to toss out the anchor and spend the night. That way we’d be fresh and ready for our first leg on the Cassiar. Perhaps the weather will improve too.


Sign near start of Cassiar...  yes, you can drive south
to Alaska from the Cassiar Hwy.
Thursday, August 20 - Cassiar Jct (Nugget City) near Watson Lake to Boya Lake (day 75)
Baby Nugget RV Park

We're clearly in a rainy spell. Check of the weather last night indicated mostly rain the next few days. Past experience has taught us the weather forecasts up here are notoriously unreliable. But a multi-day trend (like a general propensity for precipitation) is often fairly accurate. I'm sure there'll be sun-breaks, but we'll have to deal with more rain than we'd prefer.

We're staged just a mile or two from the junction with the Cassiar Highway. Since we don't know how far we'll go today, we let the showers come and go this morning while enjoying coffee in our snug little camper. Finally got on the road about 11am during a weather break.

Just about the nicest campsite we've had all trip.
The Cassiar Highway is about 450 miles long, aligned north-south between here and the town of Kitwanga, on Hwy 16… The Yellowhead Highway, that runs from Prince Rupert on the coast and Prince George. Reports indicate it's a decent paved road, but clearly below the standards of the Alcan. The northern end in particular is narrow and has no shoulders or center-line stripes. I found a pace of around 45 to 50 mph to be about right most of the time. There's a fair amount of traffic and some large trucks that use it to shave off some miles between southern BC and the Alcan. Generally, it was a relaxing and very enjoyable drive.

But we didn't get far today. Stopped to check out Boya Lake CG. Once Dar saw the emerald green clear lake illuminated under a brief sunbreak together with an open campsite right on the shoreline, she "called an audible" and we stopped right then and there after just 56 miles. It is probably the most scenic campsite we've had during this trip. A real gem.


Friday, August 21 - Boya Lake to Kinaskan Lake (day 76)
Boya Lake CG

Woke to blue sky and broken clouds. Looks like a good driving day. On the road about 10am. First stop was at Jade City, a tourist-trap but of some notable interest when one learns that about 90% of the world's jade comes from the immediately surrounding Cassiar Mountains. Jade is almost literally everywhere. I’m sure I saw raw chunks of jade mixed in the gravel covering the parking lot. Dar picked up a few gift items for people back home.

It seems everyone driving by Jade City stops in. We observed a wide range of campers during our visit… from van conversions, to an Earthroamer, to a very interesting little 5th wheel made by Escape Campers. We met the folks with the Escape and they volunteered to show us the interior layout. Hmmm. There’s a lot to like about the little unit, but we’re not in a trailer mode right now. File the info away for future reference.

Through the Cassiar Mountains on a southward bearing, we wandered through Dease Lake, 40 Mile Flats, Iskut, and Tatogga. At some point along the way, the painted centerline appeared again… an indication we’re making progress toward civilization. Decided to make camp for the night at Kinaskan Lake CG.

The human condition causes us to seek out similarities and like-mindedness in others in order to combine into groups… probably for safety, survival, and sanity purposes. During our trip we’d often run into people multiple times as there’s only a limited number of routes to take and many of us are going the same places at the same rate of travel. And a bond of common purpose and destination would occur, sparking a personal contact that made life on the road a little more fun. At Kinaskan Lake we ran into an adventurous and interesting couple from Whitehorse that we had first met in Inuvik… almost two months ago. The common bond here is the 4 Wheel Camper each of us have. We do find we have a soft spot in our hearts for others that like and use these little rigs. In this case, direction and rate of travel had nothing to do with this serendipitous meeting. They recognized our rig as they happened into the campground on their way back to Whitehorse after visiting friends near the Smithers area. We had a long and rich conversation with them and hope for more path-crossings with them in the future.


Saturday, August 22 - Kinaskan Lake to Meziadin Lake CG (both along the Cassiar) (day 77)
Kinaskan Lake CG

Started raining about 4am, and continued light and steady until much later in the day. We've had our battles with the rain gods the last couple months, but not many all day rains. Today was nearly a total washout, as you'll see below.

We got the show on the road at our usual time... about 10am. Started the wipers when I started the truck and didn't shut them off until later in the day in Stewart. Back on the Cassiar, I'm sure the drive through the middle portion of it is gorgeous... but we couldn't testify to it. At times a bright spot would raise our hopes, only to be dashed on the rocky shoals of low ceilings and renewed rain. Just another sucker hole.

On the slow drive south, we did see a total of 5 black bear today. A couple of them were little more than fleeting glances... too fast for Dar's camera trigger finger. But the best sighting was of a sow and her little cub eating god knows what right at the edge of the road. They were totally unconcerned about us despite our stopped truck, in the lane of traffic, and the two of us snapping pics as fast as we could. They were literally just 15 or 20 feet away.

At the junction with Hwy 37A, we took it toward Stewart and Hyder. Glad we did too. The biggest tourist attraction here is bear watching along Fish Creek just outside Hyder. And being the good little tourists, we headed directly to the creek in the midst of yet another downpour. We found a few visitors, mostly huddled around shelters and peering longingly, hopefully, into the surrounding hills... trying their darnedest to will a bear into the open for that perfect iphone bear wildlife portrait.

We found a forlorn ranger on patrol, complete with umbrella and faint look of sadness on his boyish face, who said they had one bear early that morning, and another late the night before. But other than that, it's been pretty quiet. A local I talked to later said they're hopeful more fish and more bears show up next month.

Hyder bills itself as the friendliest ghost town in Alaska. I can't say much about the friendliest part, but the ghost town part is spot on. What a sad place that time left way back there in the dust. I can't help but think they're just missing some vision, some creativity, and some energetic people to clean things up and turn it around. I hope they do.

When a traveler goes from Stewart, which is in Canada, to Hyder, Alaska, one can do so without going through a border checkpoint. They probably figure that most people who go into Hyder are going to come right back out again, quickly. And since there are no roads that lead anywhere except back to Canada on the exact same road you went in on, there is little functional reason to maintain a staffed border presence. But good old Canada has their border check point right there under the Canadian Maple Leaf Flag, ever ready to snag folks who bought liquor in Hyder... or bought a gun... or picked up a terrorist to smuggle back into Canada. Never mind that there is no place to buy liquor or firearms that I could see in Hyder... they're ready in case one opens. I had to chuckle to myself at how serious this young border guard was taking his job. I'm sure in his mind the good folks of Canada are sleeping better tonight because he's on the job.

Here's a few more pics from our side-trip to Stewart and Hyder.