RubiKon Adventures

Tales and travels of "GrizzLee", "Looksha Lori" & "Yukon Johann"

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rubikon Adventure Quest 2011: Salmon Glacier

“Glaciers are delicate and individual things, like humans. Instability is built into them.”

The Granduc Mine road starts in Hyder, Alaska at sea level and follows the Salmon River to the Salmon Glacier at 4,300 ft. up in the alpine. As we drove up we passed several mines which have been operating since the 1920s. A couple of miles in from Hyder is Fish Creek, where one of 3 salmon runs provide food for bears, gulls and bald eagles. There is an observation deck providing a unique opportunity to view and photograph grizzlies and black bears. No salmon is running now, but when they do, an unusual thing happens. Black bears and Grizzlies, which normally do not get along, don't seem to mind each others company.. that is as long as there are fish.

At the top of the road we had spectacular views of mountains, alpine meadows and the large t-shaped Salmon glacier which forms the headwaters of the Salmon River. We spent the entire day up there gazing, hiking and staring in wonder at this river of ice. We could see weather coming in from the west and we would take refuge in the camper, within the hour the sun would show for a bit and the cycle would continue again.
We were unable to continue beyond the parking lot at the top even though there is a road that continues 5 miles further to a new mining exploration. In fact, mining has been renewed in this area due to the current price of gold. We've been told to expect to see much more as we move our way up farther along the Cassiar Hwy. 

Approaching the Salmon Glacier. 
 Looking back down the long valley to the coast. Look closely and you can see the lines of where the glacier sat not too long ago.
 Almost at the end of the road and the highest point of our drive.
 The glacier stair steps as it turns the corner to make its run down hill.
 Yukon Johann and GrizzLee acting like National Geographic jocks as we trek around with our camera gear.

 At the top there was a gentleman selling DVDs of bears and glaciers.
 We pretty much had the place to ourselves all day.

We climbed up higher to get a better vantage point. There were glaciers behind the hill that seemed to go on forever. 
 Along the road we crossed back into Canada from Hyder, Ak. Just beyond the crest of this glacier here, is Alaska.

 It runs like a river.
Coming back into Stewart to get gas we were greeted with showers and a brief glimpse of sunshine AND this beautiful rainbow. Yes, we almost ran out of gas. No worries as we are carrying an extra 10 gallons in Jerry cans with us just in case. A pre-caution all travelers in the north take seriously.

It was brilliant and seemed to eminate right from the ground.

Until next time....

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