24.08.16, Stewart, British Columbia, Canada and Hyder, Alaska, USA
This morning we rode the entire 3 miles it took to leave Canada and enter Alaska again. To the lovely Ghost Town of Hyder. Hyder has a population of 87, and is the most eastlerly town in Alaska, entered only by passing through Canada first.
Hyder is at the head of Portland canal a 130 mile long fjord, part of which is the border between the U.S and Canada. The other side of town leads to Tongass National Forest containing Fish Creek and Salmon Glacier.
Tongass is part of the Pacific temperate rain forest and has many endanger flora and fauna.
We visited Fish Creek today, where there is a boardwalk above the creek, where we could view the pink and chum salmon spawning, after their long haul from the Pacific Ocean. We hoped to see bears catching the fish, but although there had been sitings early this morning, and qite a few yesterday we didn’t see any. We were told that it was a record year for the Salmon run, the largest amount were swimming upstream since 2006. This meant that the bears had easy pickings, and were entering the creek at a much easier place further downstream, that unfortunately was not viewable. However, there were still a number of stalwarts, who apparently come every year to view the spectacle with their very long camera lenses, and just because it’s fabulous.
It was totally peaceful sitting there for a couple of hours watching the evolution of life, as the fish dragged themselves to their birthplace, spawned and turned over to die. There was also a huge shoal of Chum Salmon, who live in the area of their birth for two years before they break on downstream and out to the ocean, to grow fat and live their lives before returning to their origins in about 4 years time. There were adult and baby seagulls also enjoying a salmon feast, but apart from that as the fish break down they help boost the nutrients in the creek for future generations of salmon.
After that we made our way back to Ripley Creek Inn, for the evening, thinking about those bears probably all up there feasting as soon as we turned our backs!