Saturday, September 7, 2013

Alaska Omnibus Part 2

After our miserable ordeal at the Bear Glacier Provincial Park. With swollen faces we ran from the campsite on the road to Hydra. Road was along a very scenic lake.
Hyder Town (Alaska, USA) begins after the border, it is barely some houses
At the other end of lake is a huge glacier hanging over the water. Many fallen chunks of ice wall are floating in the lake. We see these glacier walls falling in the water in the Natural Geographic Documentaries but probably we wont’ have any luck to watch this magnificant fall. We spend 2 hours here. We try to remove all the mosquitoes from our car, clothes, hairs and ears. A waterfall is roaring next to the scenic outlook. We take a bath although it seems awkward to do it. We are swelled up and hundreds of mosquitoes are sticking to us those we killed but their snouts still stuck in our flash. Freezing cold water is very soothing to our mosquito bitten bodies.
Beginning of Portland Canal at Stewart
A police car stops and officer asks, “What do you think you are doing here?”
“Office, we are taking a bath here, is it illegal?”
He replies after taking a long pitiful look at our faces, “No, it is not illegal.”
“Have a good time. I stopped by to ask if you need any sort of help etc.’
He drives away.
We hear a huge explosion followed by a thunderous splash. Wearing loincloths I run towards the road to look at the glacier and here comes another wall crashing into water.
Sea Plane
A huge several hundred feet tower of another ice wall splits from the glacier and makes its fall. It appears in slow motion when it crashes into water (seems slowly) and whole lake shook up with a big explosion. Several feet high waves rush towards us and splash over us.
So we were lucky after all to witness this crash.
Stewart Glacier
We start our gas stove and boil Labrador leaves to make tea at the roadside picnic area by the lake facing the glacier.
Labrador Tea tastes heavenly and it is now mosquito free country. Labrador tea is a famous homeopathy medicine also called Ledum. It is the medicine for insects stings and any punctured wound injury so no wonder that we heal fast from mosquito bites.
We drive towards Stewart and we feel we are in heaven. Green snowy mountains, lakes, huge water falls, fjords and glaciers.
This reminds me a Hindi song: In baharoon main akele naa phiro.
Near Bear Glacier Park
We enter in the small and neat town of Stewart that is situated on the Nash River and here it begins the head of Portland Canal a saltwater natural body that makes border of Canada and USA for many miles. Hyder is only 3 Kilometers from here. We are in Canada and Hyder is in America. No other road goes to Hyder except one from Stewart. Children of Hyder go to School in Stewart, town uses Canadian postal service. There is not just Stewart but several other border towns in both countries they share everything and this is the great comfort and benefit of the great friendship between two nations. Even Canadian currency is used in Hyder and people do banking in Canadian banks. Hyder is a small town with just 70-80 homes and Stewart is a bit bigger.
Grizzle bear mother and cub
Well, we find just one Chinese restaurant, a deli and an ice-cream shop in Stewart and then we drive along the extremely scenic Portland canal fjord. Sometimes whales can be seen in Portland Canal that connects with Pacific Ocean after 114 kilometers. There are some infrequent scheduled ferries from here to Juneau the capital of Alaska. There is a schedule sea plane service, also and sea planes can also be charted. Sea plane is the plane that has floats instead of wheels and it can take off and land in water.
Town of Stewart (BC) Canada
Here comes the border and we are enter into USA. There is only Canadian Border Post that is only when we return back to Canada. So no border formality and we zoom into Hyder (USA). Since Hyder is connected with only this road and other way to get here is either by sea-plane or boat so there is no American Immigration and custom post. We try to find some restaurant but there is none. Just one liquor store and one deli serving ready-made cold sandwiches. We find Hyder a very small place, just one barely 100 yards long street. We make U Turn to go to Stewart for lunch. We stop at the Canada Immigration post. A pretty lady waves us to stop and we stop. She is from Punjab India (her name tag indicates). She deals with us sternly and checks thoroughly our passports. Then she punches in her computer and does more investigation. Now she comes out of her cabin and asks us to open our car and makes a thorough inspection. Our car is loaded with camping gear, tent etc. She prohibits us to come near our car and she removes each and every objects. She opens all our tea, sugar, daal, rice and spice boxes and cans. She even opens our pressure cooker.
Mountains around Hyder
She does everything in her capacity to find something illegal on us and finally she gets tired and frustrated after half hour and reluctantly clears us to go. We repack everything in our car, that takes another half hour. Couple of other cars arrive there, but she waves them to get into Canada without any inspection. Border between two countries pass through the mountain and they have shaved about 25 feet of area in straight line along the border. I wonder how they maintain that clearance between both countries. This clearance is marked after 9-11 and it passes through high mountains for thousands and thousands of miles. I saw this same clearance at several places in a straight line near Abbotsford in British Columbia. At Google maps one can see this straight shaved border passing through tall mountains. We arrive in Stewart again and have lunch in Chinese Restaurant and then return to Hyder. This 3 Kilometer way is so beautiful and we decide to come here on foot again today.
Road to Prince Rupert

Affects especially the rheumatic diathesis, going through all the changes, from functional pain to altered secretions and deposits of solid, earthy matter in the tissues. The Ledum rheumatism begins in feet, and travels upward. It affects also the skin, producing an eruption like Poison-oak, and is antidotal thereto, as well as to stings of insects. There is a general lack of animal heat, and yet heat of bed is intolerable. For punctured wounds, produced by sharp-pointed instruments or bites particularly if the wounded parts are cold, this is the remedy. Tetanus with twitching of muscles near wound.

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