Hyder, Alaska. Erm…… A ghost town whose only survivors are mosquitos and one surly woman reluctantly serving drinks.
Think – Gulag 13. Think; alcoholism and drugs could be a way out – either that or suicide!
The concrete border patrol box was empty – the man with the long, heavy greatcoat and the furry hat had abandoned his post. The Russians didn’t sell this place to the USA, they gave it to them in the belief it would break their spirit.
After bouncing and bumping along the dusty street from one end to the other, we turned the bike around and re-negotiated the pot holes and craters and rode back to the Canadian border at Stewart (a long 200m away)
There is a border patrol on the Canadian side, put there – to scare the bejeesus out of you; What if they won’t let us back into Canada? Oh God, we’ll have to build a raft from all the rotting wood from those derelict cabins, tie the bike and us on and drift down the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii or wherever the currents take us.
But they let us back in to BC, Canada and we hi-tailed it back to Smithers.
It was a beautiful ride, made extra special by seeing a bear and her tiny cub sitting eating wildflowers by the side of the road and further on, a huge grizzly ran across the road just in front of us – we had to slow down for that one. We also stopped to take photos of Bear Glacier and we saw some stunning waterfalls; the wildflowers on the ride were wonderful too.
You can’t judge a place from one tiny, deserted town though and Alaska is a superb, vast and beautiful place with wonderful sights and amazingly prolific wildlife.
We made it, we got there. And now we are heading back to the most incredibly breathtaking scenery I have seen so far in tens of thousands of miles and many years of travel; the glaciers and icefields of the area between Jasper and Banff.
I haven’t emptied my memory cards yet but will add photos on our next day’s rest. We were just too weary last night after riding so many miles in one day – I think it was 700+
Now we are. Having a new tyre fitted – a bit of luck the Harley Davidson dealer here in Smithers has one that will fit. The bike is there now.
Hope to be on the road in an hour and we should make McBride, 400 miles back to the east.