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August 13th 2011
Published: August 14th 2011
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Hanging our signHanging our signHanging our sign

The official sign gets hung in the famous Sign Forest in Watson Lake, YT
We left Beaver Creek expecting very bad road conditions all the way to Destruction Bay as it was horrible on the journey north. We were very pleasantly surprised that most of the really bad road was much improved. We made good time to Whitehorse, YT and pulled into Hi Country RV, expecting to see the Johnsons and Mike and Ray once again. They weren’t there, but when we heard from them, they were just down the road at a different RV park. We celebrated with the Lindas having a girl’s shopping day on Friday. We found a great liquidation sale and both got a pair of boots. We revisited the fish ladder as we’d been told that the Chinook (king) salmon would be jumping up the ladder in great numbers. When we got there, the staff said they had counted two salmon that morning in their observation/counting tank. There were about 15 Chinooks at the bottom of the ladder, waiting to swim into it. It was pretty amazing to watch them, just hanging out there even though the forceful water was pushing them towards the ladder opening. No one can explain what they were waiting for – perhaps more salmon???? That
It's way up thereIt's way up thereIt's way up there

The ladder was a little wobbly, but JW managed to get it on the top of the pole
evening, we were able to catch up on all of our and their adventures since Ninilchik at a dinner at Earl’s. The next morning Jim and I were headed for a service appointment when we spotted an Arctic fox in an open field. We followed him until he ducked behind a building. He was lovely – very dark brown with a white tip on his tail. He was just starting to change into his winter colors.
We left the next morning for Watson Lake, YT and the Sign Forest and tracking down that “lost” sign that Scott had sent for our first visit to Watson Lake. The saga of the sign: (see June 27th blog) the sign went back to the sign company in Edmonton, it was reposted via Canada Post with a delivery date scheduled for July 12th. I called the campground, no sign, I called the post office; they would hold it for 30 days, but then they told me it must have been picked up as it wasn’t there anymore. Luckily the campground owner had it! Hurray! So, we hung our sign and immortalized the moment with pictures. I went into the visitor center and asked if
ImmortalityImmortalityImmortality

It will be there forever!
it needed to be registered or counted and the lady said, “No, we have no rules here. If we had rules, we’d have to have signs explaining the rules, so just go for it.” Then I asked about what number sign we’d be. She said 73,000, so we decided we must be 73,001.

Onward south to drive the Cassiar Highway, supposedly one of the most scenic routes we will take. We stopped about halfway at Iskut, BC and Mountain Shadow RV Resort (the mountain shadow part is well-named, the resort part, well-not so much). The drive was lovely, but the second half was to be even better. Jim and I stopped for lunch at Bear Glacier. We were just ready to sit down and eat what I prepared when we noticed the NO STOPPING signs. I think it was an avalanche area (if the glacier calved into the water it would not have been a good thing). We made it into Stewart, gave the RV a wash (coin-operated and I believe we dropped 10 loonies – the Canadian dollar coin) into the till. Late that afternoon, Linda J (who is afraid of heights) drove us to the summit of
Jade CityJade CityJade City

On the way to Iskut, BC. The info says that this area produces 90% of the world's supply of jade. Hard to believe, having been in China.
Salmon Glacier. We were told the view at the top was well worth the scary drive up the narrow, dusty road with big trucks passing coming and going. Had it not been for the mosquitoes, it would have been. It was unbelievable to be near the top of a glacier looking down on it.

Stewart, BC and Hyder, AK are towns located right on the US/Canadian border. Hyder is famous for the Fish Creek Bear Observation platform above the Salmon River, spawning grounds for chum and pink salmon. It's an area where both brown and black bears enjoy the salmon, sometimes at the same time. Sometimes a timber wolf might saunter down to chomp off the heads of the carcasses. We took the RV there and stayed the whole day, watching eagles, a grizzly sow with her 2-yr old cub and a black or two. I really enjoyed visiting with the USFS rangers about the bears, plus I enjoyed listening to the questions that visitors were asking:

What time do the bears arrive in the morning? Which entrance do the bears come in through? When told the bears were there earlier, what time will they come back? (Let
Mountain Shadow RV resortMountain Shadow RV resortMountain Shadow RV resort

Doesn't he look like he's having a great time?
your imagination go wild for some of the other “dumb” ones)

We left Stewart Wed morning. Ross and Linda had an urgent business situation and had to leave from here to drive to Kingston, NY, about 60 hours of driving in 4-5 days. We got to Telkwa, BC - a campground with free RV wash, free cable tv and free WiFi (well, 75 mb were free, then you had to pay for each 75 mb more. Very strange for that much to be free in Canada, where showers normally cost a looney or two) We enjoyed drinks outside the RV, sitting beside the river, visiting with Mike and Ray and planning the next day’s journey and activities. At out lunch stop along the Yellowhead Highway, a fellow traveler told us we should go pick some of the lovely saskatoons that grow in the rest stop here. Without a bear bell or bear spray, off we tromped. Soon, we found the saskatoon bushes, covered with the plump purple fruit. Next to the bushes, we found large trampled areas, indications that a bear or two had been napping in the area not many days ago. However, we picked and enjoyed.
Bear Glacier Bear Glacier Bear Glacier

We stopped for lunch at a prohibited area along the road. Moved before we ate.

Prince George, BC is the next stop. There’s a really cool Railway Museum there – out in a field. We didn't do the Railway Museum, did the Harley shop instead. Cooked a great dinner of cedar planked salmon, Okanogan corn, grilled peaches with cucumber, tomato & onion salad (all produce bought at local fruit/vegetable stand along the way and were from Okanogan Valley.) (Jim is getting to be a master at cooking salmon and this has been the best yet!)

Along the way from Prince George to Jasper, we hiked in the Ancient Rainforest of Old Cedars. It is rare because it is the only known rainforest in the world to be so far (800 km) from the ocean. Some of the cedars in this forest could be 1000-2000 years old. The “Big Tree” is 16 feet in diameter. After that, we stopped at Rearguard Falls. What an amazing amount of water going over the falls, yet the Chinook have a spawning ground here as well. When we got to Jasper, we stayed in a park that has been designated a dark sky preserve. In fact, at 11,228 square kms, Jasper is the largest dark sky preserve in the
Bear GlacierBear GlacierBear Glacier

This cave is where the glacier melt water comes out into the lake. Learning about glaciers has been fascinating.
world. I had expectations of seeing the meteor shower, but we had no services (no water, no electric, no TV, no internet; dry-camping – what we used to just call camping!!), so I had no idea what time to look up. When I went outside at 10:30, there was a full moon, so it wasn’t as dark as it needed to be. I did see the Little Dipper.






Additional photos below
Photos: 47, Displayed: 27


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Bear GlacierBear Glacier
Bear Glacier

The tell-tale blue ice
Salmon GlacierSalmon Glacier
Salmon Glacier

View from the summit
Salmon GlacierSalmon Glacier
Salmon Glacier

Ray standing at the summit, viewing both directions
Summit LakeSummit Lake
Summit Lake

see the next picture for information
Salmon Glacier and Summit LakeSalmon Glacier and Summit Lake
Salmon Glacier and Summit Lake

Imagine that the little lake causes such a rise
Ray at the summitRay at the summit
Ray at the summit

Salmon Glacier summit
Dusty roadDusty road
Dusty road

This is the view out the window on the way down - when the trucks were passing us and going really fast.
Fledgling eagleFledgling eagle
Fledgling eagle

Watched this baby bald eagle for over an hour
Bald eagleBald eagle
Bald eagle

He hopped into the water, bathed himself, then waved his wings in the air to dry them.
After the bathAfter the bath
After the bath

Off to another tree and a chance for a salmon dinner
Momma grizzlyMomma grizzly
Momma grizzly

Getting some lunch
Momma and CubMomma and Cub
Momma and Cub

This cub was playing with his mother.
Momma and CubMomma and Cub
Momma and Cub

Still playing
Salmon schoolingSalmon schooling
Salmon schooling

The USFS rangers said the salmon do this when bears aren't around


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