Alaska Bound: Black Bears, Bear Glacier & Waterfalls
I woke up early to the sound of a light rain gently coming down on my tent on 5/30. It is one sound that I love and I laid there a little bit and set my intentions for the day – what I hoped for and what I was thankful for. Every day I do this when I wake up and then again before I go to sleep. It helps keep me grounded and focused on what I need to work on within myself.
Today I was headed up the Cassiar Highway on my way to Alaska. In The Milepost book shows what not to miss on the trek, and it kept talking about a place called Stewart which was right next to Hyder, Alaska. You can only go into Alaska a short distance before you have to turn around and come back to Canada, but I knew I wanted to put my feet on US soil even for a few minutes.
I started the day out at the Farmer’s Market in Smithers and took some pics of the wood carved bugler. Smithers is a super cute town that I would love to come back to and spend more time.
This is the sign for when you turn onto the Cassiar Highway heading north. What everyone forgot to tell me was that until I popped out on the top near Watson Lake, which was 8-10 hours later, there would be no cell service, GPS, or WiFi. Pretty much cut off from the rest of the world. Thankfully since I took the detour to Stewart, they had WiFi, but no cell service, but I was still able to check in with my family.
On the road to Stewart from the Cassiar, I was blown away by the beauty I saw. There were waterfalls everywhere I looked, with lakes and rivers around every bend in the road. I turned off my radio so I could hear the birds singing and hear if a waterfall was coming up. Music to my ears!
As I was approaching this one lake I kept seeing small rivets in the mountain and blue ice poking through. I had no idea what it was. I saw this large blue ice coming down a mountain and dropping off into this crystal blue lake. I pulled over and started taking pictures. Then it hit me – I was staring at a glacier. A big, beautiful glacier that was hundreds, if not millions, of years old. It was an awe-inspiring site. I later learned it was called Bear Glacier.
Another five minutes down the road I saw a big black spot on the right hand side of the road. A bear!! Yippee!! I pulled over and changed lenses to the 70-200mm f/4L lens and started taking pics. He knew I was there and would pop his head to make sure I was a safe distance away while he kept eating flowers. Then it all changed. I wasn’t seeing one bear, but two!! It was mating season and this was a male and female black bear eating flowers by the road – they were on a date and I was crashing it!
Peek-a-boo I see you.
I was stoked! I stayed and watched them for over 30 minutes and happy as a clam. When I got to Stewart I noticed that the only gas station was closed and wouldn’t reopen until the morning. I then headed over the border to Hyder to check it out. Everything was closed so I would have to come back in the morning here too. There were only two hotels in Stewart and both were sold out. So this night, I went to the town campground and slept in my car. There are bears out there! No way was I pitching my tent in the middle of bear country! Not the most pleasant sleep I have ever had but I went to sleep happy that I saw a glacier and two black bears today and that I had finally made it to Alaska. Well, kind of.
In case you missed this post about What to Pack for Alaska…
Disclosure: Links within this post may contain affiliate links that I earn commissions from. Example, if you click on the above BorrowLenses.com link and purchase anything from that site I make a small commission, no matter what you purchase. This is how I pay for my travels and this blog. Thank you for supporting me!