Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 3: Iskut, BC to Prince George, BC

Mileage: 660
Total Mileage: 1758
Animals: nothing notable that I wrote down or remember
And today, I got homesick. I kid you not. I was ready to turn the car back up north. I think what I am embarking on was finally settling in. With things so nuts in the last few months, I didn’t have much time to think about leaving Alaska for more than a few weeks at a time. The whole idea of what I was doing felt wrong, rebellious, and having been fairly distant with friends and coworkers in the weeks leading up to the trip, the whole thing felt very uncomfortable. I guess when you have dreams for so long and then finally you get your chance to make the breakaway, it feels like you are abandoning the life that you learned to know. Because you ARE for that short time, even if you are returning. Think about it. A lot can and will happen in that time, especially if you put yourself way out of your normalcy and run into unfamiliar territory.But the day itself – we woke up to a snowy morning. I was relieved to see that the precipitation was snow and and not rain! I had a mission to find an undeveloped hot springs on this section of the road, but what used to be a forest service road that we could have used to get most of the way there is now a blocked off, no trespassing mining road. We could have bushwhacked 3.5 miles through the trees and 2 foot deep snow, but sadly didn’t have the time to do that. It would have taken all day long. Another point I’d like to go back there. Bummer.
Bear glacier on the Stewart-Hyder road

Today we also took a little side trip to Hyder, AK – the easternmost town in Alaska. This was recommended to me by my friend and I’m glad we went over there though it added 80 miles to the trip. At a population of 64, there wasn’t much to “see” in Hyder. We drove down a super sketchy bridge to the port, and met one of the locals, Tom. Tom asked me where home is, and I said “Fairbanks”. He responded, “no, before that”, and I responded “grew up in Pennsylvania”. “Where?” ha, oh man this is happening again. I told him and found out he is from Johnstown, a place not too far east of where I grew up. He was asking because he saw the Penn State stickers on my car. I couldn’t believe I found another person from the same area in Hyder, Alaska! Granted, he hadn’t been back to PA in over 30 years, but still interesting. He had me say “yinz guys” and was happy. It was neat talking with him though like anyone in a remote small town you could tell he was thrilled to have someone to chat with, and we probably could have bs’ed all day long but we had to get back rolling on the road to keep my ambitious schedule. I don't have a photo of him, since I'm still a bit shy about asking strangers to take their photos.That night, after seeing a baby black bear on the side of the road where we were going to camp, we opted to sleep in the car.

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